“Delhi Government Allocates Less Funds, But Women’s Commute Remains Free”

The Delhi government’s allocation for the transport sector in the fiscal year 2024-25 has experienced a decrease of Rs 18.67 billion compared to the previous year. The allocation for 2023-24 was at Rs 93.37 billion but decreased to Rs 74.70 billion for the upcoming fiscal year. Finance Minister Atishi announced this decrease during the budget presentation in the Delhi Assembly. Out of the allotted funds, Rs 57.02 billion is for the transport sector, while Rs 17.68 billion is allocated for road and flyover projects in the national capital.

No New Schemes Announced but Free Bus Travel for Women Continues

Though no new schemes were announced for the transport sector, Finance Minister Atishi highlighted an existing initiative that provides free bus travel for women in Delhi. Starting from 2019 until now, women in Delhi have had the opportunity to travel for free on buses a remarkable 1.53 billion times. This initiative was a step towards empowering women by ensuring their access to public transport without financial burdens.

‘Pink Ticket’ Initiative for Women’s Free Bus Travel

During her budget speech, Finance Minister Atishi emphasized the positive impact that the free bus travel initiative, facilitated by distributing ‘pink tickets,’ has had on the lives of women in Delhi. Previously, many women from common families had to compromise their ambitions due to the high expenses of commuting. With the ‘pink ticket’ provided by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, women can now travel confidently and freely throughout Delhi without worrying about the financial implications.

Increase in ‘Pink Tickets’ and Number of Buses

Since its inception, the number of ‘pink tickets’ distributed has been steadily on the rise each year. In 2020-21, the number reached Rs 170.7 million, and by 2022-23, it had escalated to Rs 400.2 million. These increasing figures indicate a high demand for the initiative, showing that around 11 lakh women in Delhi are utilizing the free bus services every day. Finance Minister Atishi also highlighted the remarkable increase in the number of buses operating in Delhi. Continual efforts have been made to improve public transportation facilities, ensuring greater accessibility for the residents of the national capital. This increase in the number of buses has resulted in enhanced convenience for commuters and reduced overcrowding in the existing transportation system. Evaluating the Allocations for the Transport Sector The decrease in the allocation for the transport sector for the upcoming fiscal year may raise concerns among citizens. It is essential for authorities to further prioritize public transportation infrastructure and services for a growing and bustling metropolis like Delhi. While free bus travel for women remains a progressive step, additional investments and focus on improving overall transportation infrastructure are crucial for catering to the commuting needs of all residents. In conclusion, the Delhi government’s allocation for the transport sector’s upcoming fiscal year has decreased compared to the previous year. Finance Minister Atishi emphasized the significant initiative of providing free bus travel for women in Delhi and highlighted the increasing demand demonstrated by the rise in ‘pink tickets’ distributed. As the allocation is evaluated, efforts to enhance transportation services and infrastructure need to be prioritized for improved commuter experience throughout the city.

Sumit Mondal Content Analyst at Square Yards
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