The Delhi government’s scheme allowing women to travel for free on the metro rail network has come under heavy criticism from the Supreme Court for possibilities that it will increase budget overruns.
For the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s phase 4 expansions, the apex court bench comprising Justice Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta were hearing Delhi government’s argument they will not share losses with the Centre and the Centre must share fifty per cent of the land cost and taxes.
The SC further said, “State is responsible for transport. We find nothing objectionable in case the metro suffers losses to be borne by the state as metro is a conveyance within the state and considering the nature of the facility the losses, if any, to be borne by state to ensure policies which do not cause any operational loss or otherwise to the running of the metro …hence we do not find any substance in this objection.”
Taking a dig at the AAP scheme, SC said, “If you allow people to travel free… then there will be a problem.”
The top court, however, directed that the land cost for the 103.94-km-long Phase IV project would be borne by the Centre and the Delhi government equally.
Earlier in June, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced free metro rides for women saying that the Delhi government will bear the cost. He had also claimed that it will help make public transport and Delhi, safer for women.