'Metro Man' Sreedharan urges PM to turn down Delhi govt's proposal of free travel for women

Even the then prime minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee had bought a ticket himself to travel to the station from where the metro's first section was inaugurated, he said.

'Metro Man' Sreedharan urges PM to turn down Delhi govt's proposal of free travel for women
Representational Picture (AFP)
By: ABP News Bureau
Updated: 14 Jun 2019 06:30 PM
New Delhi: E Sreedharan, former chief of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), popularly called ‘Metro Man’, is not in favour of AAP government's proposed free travel scheme for women in Delhi Metro trains and regarding which has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him not to agree to the proposal.

Sreedharan believes the scheme would set "an alarming precedence" to all other metros in the country.


In a letter to the prime minister, Sreedharan said if the Delhi government is "so keen" to help women commuters, it can pay the cost of their travel directly to them rather than making travel free on metro trains.

The former Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) chief has also sought Modi's intervention in the matter.

Sreedharan said when the first section of the Delhi Metro was to be opened in 2002, he had taken a firm decision that no one would be given travel concession.

Even the then prime minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee had bought a ticket himself to travel to the station from where the metro's first section was inaugurated, he said.

(Delhi Metro Rail Coorporation (DMRC) Managing Director, Elattuvalapil Sreedharan (C) - FILE PIC/AFP)

"I would very earnestly request you sir not to agree to the Delhi government's proposal of free travel to ladies in the Metro.

"If the Delhi government is so keen to help lady commuters, I would suggest Delhi government can pay directly to the lady commuters the cost of their travel rather than make travel free on the Metro," Sreedharan said in the letter.

Earlier this month, the Arvind Kejriwal government announced that it would make commute for women in public buses and metro trains free. The chief minister, however, seemed to be suggesting it as a proposal and has directed his officials to study the feasibility. The government will also take feedback from the people, he said. The move comes ahead of the Assembly polls in the national capital where elections are due early next year.

"Now, 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 argument of the Delhi government that the revenue losses would be reimbursed to the DMRC is a poor solace," the former DMRC managing director said.

The DMRC is a joint venture of the Centre and the Delhi government, and one shareholder cannot take an unilateral decision to give concession to one section of the community and push the Delhi Metro in to "inefficiency and bankruptcy", Sreedharan said.

Even officers and staff, including the managing director of the DMRC, purchase tickets when they travel on the metro on official duties, he said.

(With additional information from PTI)

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