Free Ride on Delhi Metro For Women: Supreme Court Criticises AAP Government, Says 'If There Are Freebies, Then There Will be Problem'
File image used for representational purpose | (Photo Credits: PTI)

New Delhi, September 6: The Supreme Court on Friday criticised the AAP government over its plan to provide a free ride to women on Delhi Metro. A bench of justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta directed the Delhi government not to take any step which may cause a financial loss to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), in an apparent reference to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's mega scheme ahead of polls. The apex court also said the operational loss, if any, in the Phase-IV metro construction would be borne by the Delhi government. DTC Bus Service to be Free For Women in Delhi From October 29, Delhi Cabinet Approves Proposal.

"If you allow people to travel free then it will be a problem.. if there are freebies then there will be a problem," Justice Gupta said. The remarks came after the Delhi government objected to sharing losses with the centre in the 104 km long Phase IV of the Delhi Metro project. The top court said the Delhi government would bear the operation loss, if any, as Delhi Metro is a mode of conveyance in the national capital.

"State is responsible for transport. We find nothing objectionable in case the metro suffers losses to be borne by the state as metro is a conveyance within the state and considering the nature of the facility the losses, if any, to be borne by state to ensure policies which do not cause any operational loss or otherwise to the running of the metro ...hence we do not find any substance in this objection," the bench observed.

The top court, however, directed that the land cost for the project would be borne by the Centre and the Delhi government equally, in 50:50 ratio. It further directed both the Centre and the Delhi government to work out the modalities and release the amount of land cost within three weeks.

The Delhi cabinet has given its approval for a free ride to women in DTC and cluster buses starting October 29. On June 3, Kejriwal announced that his government is planning to roll out a free travel scheme for women in Delhi Metro and DTC. He said the Delhi government will provide subsidy for free travel to women in DTC buses, cluster buses and Delhi Metro. (With inputs from agencies)