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‘Metro Man’ Shreedharan calls free metro rides for women ‘bad idea’

“The argument of Delhi government that the revenue losses in Delhi Metro would be reimbursed to DMRC is a poor solace. The amount involved in about 1,000 crores per annum today”

 

New Delhi | In the wake of AAP-led Delhi government announcing free rides for women commuters in the Delhi Metro, reactions have been pouring in ever since.

Former Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) chief E Sreedharan wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, ‘disagreeing’ with the government’s decision.

He wrote that even though he had determined himself that he will not intervene in the Metro’s decision after his resigning, the recent move has forced him to do so.

“Sir, when the first section of the Delhi Metro was to be opened, I had taken a firm and conscious decision that no one would be given any travel concession on Delhi Metro. This stand was taken to maximize revenues so that Metro fares could be kept low so as to be affordable to ordinary citizens and at the same time Metro would make sufficient operational surpluses to pay back the loans taken from JAICA,” the letter read.

He wrote that it was decided no concession will be given to any portion of the society until all of the loans are repaid.

Now, if ladies are to be given free travel concession in Delhi Metro, it would set an alarming precendence to all other Metros in the country. The argument of Delhi government that the revenue losses would be reimbursed to DMRC is a poor solace. The amount involved in about 1,000 crores per annum today. This will go on increasing as the Metro network expands and with further fare hikes on the Metro, the letter added.

“Immediate demands will arise from more deserving sections such are Students, Handicapped, Senior Citizen, etc.”, it read.

It further said that this will spread all across the country, making all the metros dependent on state governments for subsidies.

The letters ends with him requesting the Prime Minister to not agree with Delhi government’s proposal.

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