Metro Passes for Students, Differently Abled, Senior Citizens, Daily Commuters & the Needy
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Dear Arvind Ji,
As a student of Delhi University and a resident of Delhi, I request you to introduce a provision of Metro Passes in line with the daily and monthly Bus Passes provided by Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) for students, persons facing disability, senior citizens, daily commuters, and low-income groups. The cost of these passes should be decided rationally, and be realistic so that the poor may also afford to commute by metro.
Right after the recent fare hike, I saw your opposition to it, and I was happy about it because I found you empathetic and standing by us. I have to commute by bus, as after the fare hike I have to pay Rs 18 for a ride that used to cost me Rs 9. But buses are heavily overcrowded, and their frequency is quite low. Moreover, pickpocketing and eve teasing is rampant in the buses. Every day while returning from college, I observe students facing disability and senior citizens waiting for hours to board a bus at International Students' Hostel bus stop. Most of the persons facing disability and senior citizens prefer buses as bus rides are free for them. Allow me to ask you, whether it is possible for a daily wage earner who travels from Noida to Gurugram daily for work, and earns Rs 300-400, to pay Rs 100 for traveling? People talk about DTC buses as an alternative to metro; but how much feasible is it for any person to travel every day from Dwarka or Faridabad to Vishwavidyalaya in a DTC bus?
It isn't wrong to say that Delhi metro is the lifeline of Delhi; it is more convenient than DTC buses, it saves time and is eco-friendly. I would, in fact, say there isn't enough space on the roads to accommodate more buses because of the poor condition of traffic in Delhi. I believe both metro and bus together aren't enough to sustain such a rapidly growing city like Delhi and its population. There is an urgent need to search for alternative modes of affordable, green, and sustainable public transportation.
I know many will oppose my proposal and call it a bad economic move. It is ironic that Reliance Jio sold freebies and yet, earned crores of revenue, and nobody called it a bad economic move. How can DMRC charge so heavily and yet, suffer back to back losses? It must be understood that Delhi Metro is not a business enterprise, but a service providing corporation, funded and run by the hard earned money of the general public. It is a service that everyone needs in Delhi. I don't think anyone can deny that affordable public transportation is not a basic need of every Delhite. If we pay tax for what we earn, why can't its expenditure be prioritised as per our needs? Do we not have a right to affordable, efficient, eco-friendly, and reliable public transport?
The Indian government has written off loans to big companies time and again. In the last 3 years, the government has written off about Rs 72,000 crores. This is how big industrialist like Vijay Mallya run away with millions, stealing from the public money. It must be decided whether our hard earned money should be used to fund a handful of crony capitalists or should it be spent on our most essential needs. Common people commute by buses every day to earn their livelihood and survive in this costly city.
I think commuting by metro is not merely a need but a right of everyone. It should not be made privilege of a few. The right to life will be incomplete in a city like Delhi without a right to an affordable, accessible, and eco-friendly mode of transportation.
Every day on roads, in metro and buses, I see people suffering and condemning the fare hike. Nobody listens to these voices. In my personal capacity, as an educated youth, I am taking this step to do my bit to ensure that their as well my voice reaches you. It is a matter of great shame that today we have lost our voice. आम आदमी की न तो कोई आवाज़ सुन रहा है, न ही कोई दर्द को महसूस कर रहा है!
Arvind Ji, we have been there with you since the beginning of your struggle as a common man to becoming 'an insignificant man'. We have seen you pitching voices for the voiceless. As a student and resident of Delhi, I request you to stand with us once again. I have firm faith in you, that you will again stand with us.
एक दिल्ली का आम आदमी और छात्र
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