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Delhi cabinet approves free rides for women on DTC, cluster buses from October 29


New Delhi, Aug 29: The Delhi Cabinet on Thursday gave "in principle" approval to its scheme of providing free travel to women in Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and cluster buses.

The approval was given in a meeting of Delhi Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The scheme will begin from October 29, Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said.

Arvind Kejriwal

Women will be able to get free rides using 'single-journey passes' to be available with the bus conductors. Women passengers not willing to have free ride may buy tickets, Gahlot said.

The Delhi Assembly recently approved a supplementary grant of Rs 140 crore to facilitate free ride for women in buses for the current fiscal.

Kejriwal had announced free rides for women in public transport buses and Delhi Metro in June. There are 5,500 buses, including of 3,800 of the Delhi Transport Corporation and over 1,600 cluster (orange) buses operated by the Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System.

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"With this move, our sisters will be able to fulfil their dreams because they have to travel long distances for their studies and work," Kejriwal had said.

He added that it is the public's tax money which was earlier stolen and he has saved it to facilitate people. Kejriwal said he was being questioned by many on grounds of gender equality.

Asserting that there is no gender equality in the country, he said, "In Delhi's working population, women account for only 11 per cent while around 90 per cent are men."

"Currently, only 30 per cent of women and 70 per cent of men travel in public transport buses and metro trains. Our free ride scheme will significantly help women realise their dreams," he added.

Kejriwal had also said the scheme will strengthen the economy which is going through a slowdown as women will travel more for shopping.

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