Free ride in Delhi Metro is unprofitable: Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court on Friday came down heavily on Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government in the national capital for its decision to give free ridership to women in Delhi Metro.

The top court asserted that it would make Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) an ‘unprofitable venture’.

“Why you (Delhi government) are trying to give a free ride to women in metro trains? If you give a free ride to women, the DMRC will become an unprofitable venture,” said a bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta.

The observation by the bench came after the Delhi government objected to sharing losses with the Centre.

In June this year, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal had proposed free ride for women on all DTC buses, cluster buses and Delhi Metro trains. He had said that the proposal will be implemented within two to three months based on the feedback and suggestions from the public. The Delhi Cabinet is yet to give its assent to the scheme.

The bench told the state government to properly use public money and refrain from giving free sops to people. The apex court’s observation came on a petition filed by advocate M C Mehta with respect to the expansion of the fourth phase of the metro project in the state.

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Taking cognizance of the petition, the court directed the Central and Delhi government to work out modalities and release Rs 2,447.19 crore of land cost for Phase IV metro within a week.

It also 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, in 50:50 ratio.

On March 8 this year, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had approved three of the six corridors proposed under Phase IV of the Delhi Metro.

The Phase-IV project consists of six corridors — Aerocity to Tughlakabad, Inderlok to Indraprastha, Lajpat Nagar to Saket G Block, Mukundpur to Maujpur, Janakpuri West to R K Ashram and Rithala to Bawana and Narela, with a total length of 103.93 kilometres.

After the completion of Phase-IV, the total length of Delhi’s mass rapid transit system in the Delhi-NCR region would be approximately 453.58 kilometres.

(With ANI inputs)

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