'Metro Man' E Sreedharan warns PM Modi on Kejriwal's free metro ride proposal


E Sreedharan, the retired Delhi Metro Chief who is credited for its success, has shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi,

New Delhi: E Sreedharan, the retired Delhi Metro Chief who is credited for its success, has shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, stating that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's Plan to provide free metro rides to women will drive the entire system towards bankruptcy. He urged that PM Modi did not agree to the proposal. sources said.

E. Sreedharan said that " I would very earnestly request you, sir, not to agree to the Delhi government's proposal of free travel to ladies in the Metro." His letter read.

Mr. Sreedharan, who is popularly known as 'Metro man' said when the Metro service started in 2002, it was decided everybody would have to buy tickets to ride the rapid transport system and no expectation would be made.

He said the decision was welcomed by the then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who bought a ticket for his first journey from Sahadara to Kashmere Gate in December 2002.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation is a joint venture of the Delhi government and center and one shareholder cannot take a unilateral decision to give concession to one section of the community and push the Delhi Metro in to "Inefficient and Bankruptcy" he said.

Now if the ladies are to be given free travel concession in Delhi Metro, it would set an alarming precedent to all other metros in the country. The argument of the Delhi government that the revenue losses would be reimbursed to the DMRC is a poor solace. his letter further read.

He advised that if Kejriwal is so keen to go ahead with the welfare scheme, he should put all the money directly into the beneficiaries accounts.

"If the Delhi government is so keen to help lady commuters, I would suggest Delhi government can pay directly to the lady commuters the cost of their travel rather than make travel free metro" he added.

Saurabh Bhardwaj, AAP leader defended the scheme. "I would like to tell Sreedharan Ji that Delhi Metro will not lose even a single rupee. The government of Delhi will pay women's fare," he said.

The BJP has also reacted to Mr. Sreesdharan's letter.

"If Sreedharan Ji has said that this decision would drive Delhi Metro towards inefficiency and Bankruptcy, I think it should be analyzed properly," Delhi BJP Chief Manoj Tiwari told the sources.

Mr. Kejiriwal recently said the scheme would be rolled out within two-and-a-half months. He claimed no one was unhappy with his plans.

" The scheme will be rolled out within two-and-a-half-months. I have asked each and every woman here, and not a single woman I have met since morning has told me she is not happy with free travel in metro and bus," told by agencies.

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