Union Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs (Independent Charge) Hardeep Singh Puri said on Thursday that neither the ministry nor the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has so far received any proposal from the Delhi government for free travel for women in metro trains. On Monday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced a plan to make metro rides, as well as travel on Delhi Transport Corporation buses, free for women.
“There are two types of syndromes – one is broken window economics and the other is broken window fraud,” Puri told reporters according to The Hindu. “To give ticket-less travel or free travel to anyone in a bus, first you need to have a bus. First, you must ask, have 11,000 buses been sanctioned? How many are there now?”
Puri made the remarks after launching the ministry’s sanitation ranking league for cities, called Swachh Survekshan League 2020, in New Delhi.
Puri added that Kejriwal does not want to spend the Rs 50,000-crore Delhi government budget on sanitation or on schemes like Ayushman Bharat, but “wants to give a Rs 1,200-crore or Rs 2,000-crore subsidy”. “There should be a debate on this,” the minister said. “The BJP, we are all for women. But schemes are not made like this, that first you announce and then make the proposal.”
The minister also claimed that the Aam Aadmi Party government will lose the 2020 Assembly elections. “We will sort out Delhi’s problem,” he said. “This phenomenon is there only for another six months [until the Assembly polls]. I have no doubt. These are people who came in at number three [referring to the Lok Sabha elections in Delhi]. They are disruptionists.”
Earlier, BJP leader Vijender Gupta, who is the Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly, had called the proposal a “cheap populist measure”. Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari claimed Kejriwal was misleading the people of the state.