Centre vs Delhi: Supreme Courts pulls up Kejriwal on free metro rides offer
New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Friday pulled up Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over its plan to provide free metro and bus rides to women, saying that sops and losses cannot go hand in hand.
The Delhi government had been demanding that the Centre must promise to share the Delhi Metro's losses during the fourth phase of its development in the national capital.
"As the state government you are bound to ensure policies are such that there is no loss incurred by the metro," the bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta said in course of a hearing on the Delhi Metro plans.
The AAP government was arguing that the Centre must bear 50% of the land acquisition cost, bear equal burden for operational losses, if any, caused to DMRC and in case there is default while repaying the soft loan.
In June this year, Arvind Kejriwal had announced free rides for women in Delhi's public transport. The scheme will be launched on September 29 for buses, however no official date has been announced for the Metro travel.
On Friday, the two top court judges also echoed Sreedharan’s concerns.
“If you allow people to travel free, then it will be a problem, if you give freebies then there will be a problem,” Justice Gupta said.
“Here you talk about losses and fighting for sharing costs. You handle public money. Court is not powerless to order proper channelisation of funds... self-treated bankruptcy should not come in the way.” he added.