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Free journey for girls threatens Metro survival, Sreedharan writes to Modi

Free travel for women threatens Metro survival, Sreedharan writes to Modi
E Sreedharan, former managing director of the Delhi Metro Rail Company (DMRC)

E Sreedharan, former managing director of the Delhi Metro Rail Company (DMRC), has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking for his “personal intervention” to cease the Aam Aadmi Social gathering authorities’s “proposal of free travel to ladies in the Metro”.

Speaking to The Indian Categorical Friday, Sreedharan mentioned, “Two-thirds of the funding for Delhi Metro comes from the Japanese government. DMRC has the responsibility to service the loan while keeping fares uniformly low for everyone. If we have to pay back the loan in time, we need maximum revenue. With concessions being brought in, the government will have to step in and start subsidising DMRC, which then loses its freedom and will find it difficult to survive.”

Sreedharan, often called ‘Metro man’ for his pivotal position in implementing the Delhi Metro rail undertaking, mentioned the choice to not enable concessions of any form in Delhi was taken by him on the inception of the undertaking.

The AInternet authorities just lately introduced free Metro rides for all girls in Delhi Metro, suggesting that it might give extra mobility and employment alternatives to the much less privileged, and guarantee a safer commute for girls. Sreedharan, nevertheless, countered the view, saying, “Metro is safe as it is. It is not a move to help women but to help AInternet get women’s votes with the elections around the corner.”

“We can’t give concessions to just one section. There are more deserving groups such as the elderly, students, people with disabilities, those with cancer… we aren’t giving concessions to any of them right now,” he mentioned. Outlining the exigencies of mortgage reimbursement, Sreedharan wrote in his letter to Modi, “If ladies are to be given free travel concession in Delhi Metro, it would set an alarming precedence to all other Metros in the country… The disease will spread to all other Metros making them dependent on state government for subsidies.”

The letter factors to the truth that even DMRC officers who journey on responsibility should buy tickets, and are reimbursed by DMRC individually. It additionally cites the occasion of the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, throughout his first Metro trip from Kashmere Gate to Shahdara in 2002, strolling as much as the ticket counter to buy a ticket, sending out “a powerful message to all that no concession whatsoever would be given to any section of society… till the loans are repaid”.

Sreedharan informed The Indian Categorical, “Even when Prince of Wales visited, he purchased a ticket. Also a year’s free ride for women works out to Rs 1,000 crore and as the fares increase, so does the burden on Delhi government.” He mentioned this cash may very well be effectively invested into increasing the Metro line. He added that if in any respect they want to nonetheless go forward with it, the Delhi authorities should make it obligatory for girls to buy tickets so DMRC doesn’t lose its income stream and its independence, and the federal government can by itself reimburse the ladies beneficiaries instantly.

He mentioned that because the DMRC MD, there was stress on him to offer concessions to MLAs and MPs however he stood agency. “When I provided a special ladies coach in Metro, the then Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit objected saying that there should be no such preference. But it was during one of my inspections at Connaught Place Metro that I noticed a woman struggling to board train after train with an infant in hand and another small child in tow. That very night, I issued the orders as there was no financial loss in it,” he mentioned. He added that on this case, the union authorities, as a 50% Joint Enterprise accomplice in DMRC, can step in and forestall the opposite social gathering, that’s Delhi authorities, from appearing unilaterally.

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