Now, free bus rides for Capital’s labour force

Published on May 05, 2022 01:12 AM IST

Launching the scheme on Wednesday, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, who also holds the labour portfolio, said workers registered with the DBOCWWB include not just construction workers, but also are skilled labourers such as electricians, carpenters, painters and plumbers, among others.

A senior DTC official said to make the travel free for workers registered with the Board, the cost of the pass will be borne by the DBOCWWB and paid to the DTC.(File photo)
A senior DTC official said to make the travel free for workers registered with the Board, the cost of the pass will be borne by the DBOCWWB and paid to the DTC.(File photo)
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Over two years after making bus rides free for women in the national capital, the Delhi government on Wednesday launched a new scheme under which workers registered with the Delhi Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board (DBOCWWB) will be able to travel ticket-free on Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses and cluster buses.

Launching the scheme on Wednesday, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, who also holds the labour portfolio, said workers registered with the DBOCWWB include not just construction workers, but also are skilled labourers such as electricians, carpenters, painters and plumbers, among others. The scheme is expected to benefit an estimated 1.2 million such workers in Delhi and around a million of them are already registered with the Board, he said.

“In Delhi, only a few construction workers get accommodation near their work site and others have to travel to the site or labour chowk from the outskirts of the city. This comes at a heavy price -- in the form of money they have to pay for travelling to work. To end these travel-related woes of construction workers, the Kejriwal government has launched a free bus travel pass scheme for them today. Now they will get free passes that will enable them to ride to work on DTC buses across the city,” Sisodia said during the launch.

A senior DTC official said to make the travel free for workers registered with the Board, the cost of the pass will be borne by the DBOCWWB and paid to the DTC. Workers will be given a quarterly pass and the cost will be about 2,400 per pass, which the Board will bear.

He said registered workers can register for free passes on the DTC website or at one of the 34 registration booths set up by the construction worker’s welfare board. “The passes will be issued to them shortly after. They won’t have to make the rounds of offices to get the pass or waste an entire day waiting in line,” the official said.

Md Shahood Alam, a construction worker registered with the Board who got the free bus pass on Wednesday, said, “I travel from Narela to Gurugram for work by bus and the Metro. The travel alone costs me about 150-200 a day, which is nearly half of what I earn a day. In such a situation, I am unable to make any plans for my family. A free travel pass from the Delhi government will assist me in saving for the future.”

AAP MLA from Kalkaji Atishi said, “After women, now DTC bus rides have been made free for construction workers too. This will help the construction workers save 1500-2000 a month in travel expenses and they will be able to support their families better.”

Raj Kumar, a painter, said he has to take three buses to get to work every day and that increased his travel expenses. “As a result, I have to think twice before spending money on my family’s needs. But now I can do it with ease. I plan to use my savings for family outings and small investments,” he said.

In the Delhi Budget 2022-23, the government allocated 250 crore to continue its scheme of free bus rides for women. The Delhi government has spent over 484 crore on free bus rides for women so far and nearly 480 million have availed of the scheme so far since its launch in December 2019.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Sweta Goswami writes on politics, urban development, transportation, energy and social welfare. Based in Delhi, she tracks government policies and suggests corrections based on public feedback and on-ground implementation through her reports. She has also covered the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) since its inception.

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