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Friday, Aug 16, 2019

Proposal for free bus rides for Delhi women awaiting suggestions from four departments

The four departments include – finance, planning, law and home, the officials said.

delhi Updated: Aug 16, 2019 02:20 IST
Abhishek Dey
Abhishek Dey
New Delhi
The draft proposal on free ride for women in public buses in Delhi is awaiting comments and suggestions from four different departments in the Delhi government, after which it is likely to be sent to the Delhi cabinet again for final approval, senior government officials said.
The draft proposal on free ride for women in public buses in Delhi is awaiting comments and suggestions from four different departments in the Delhi government, after which it is likely to be sent to the Delhi cabinet again for final approval, senior government officials said.(Raj K Raj/ Hindustan Times)
         

The draft proposal on free ride for women in public buses in Delhi is awaiting comments and suggestions from four different departments in the Delhi government, after which it is likely to be sent to the Delhi cabinet again for final approval, senior government officials said.

The four departments include – finance, planning, law and home, the officials said.

On Thursday, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said bus rides will be free for women in Delhi from October 29 and it will apply to buses run by Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) as well as the cluster buses run by private players. The proposal on the initiative, however, awaits approval of the Delhi cabinet, which Kejriwal heads, senior officials in the Delhi government said.

On July 29, the draft proposal on free bus rides for women in Delhi, which was submitted to the Delhi cabinet by the transport department around three weeks before that, was circulated among four other departments for comments and suggestions, said a senior government official said.

“While the first three departments are routine, the home was roped in because the draft proposal involves engaging at least two marshals in every bus in two shifts and that would require more then 12,000 of them, which is thrice the current working strength. The marshals come under the Home department,” the senior official said.

He further said that the proposal would be sent to the cabinet once again after the departments register their opinions.

IDEAS ON THE TABLE

By the end of June, the transport department had devised three methods to implement the initiative – special passes for women, printing special tickets for women, or making it voluntary for women to purchase tickets while travelling in buses, senior officials in transport department said.

Finally, they zeroed in on the second option — printing special tickets for women — and that went into the draft proposal that was submitted in the cabinet, they said.

They said, the other two ideas were pushed aside because it emerged that they would fail to provide a fair assessment of daily ridership of women, which eventually would affect the subsidy calculations.

The initiative, senior said, is expected to cost the government ₹300 crore for the first year, including capital cost.

The proposal that is currently under perusal mentions about special tickets in “pink or any other colour” to be issues only to women for free. In the back-end, each such ticket would cost the government ₹10 – which is the subsidy it would pay to the DTC and to the private concessionaires for the cluster buses through Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS) Ltd, the senior officials said.

Senior officials further said, the average back-end value of ₹10 for all type of buses was calculated after taking into consideration multiple factors such as women ridership and average distance travelled.

First Published: Aug 15, 2019 23:13 IST

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