The driver of a group bus has been suspended from duty until further notice for failing to stop for women commuters, Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said on Thursday. The decision came after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted that he was receiving complaints that bus drivers were not stopping for women passengers as the ride was free on all government buses.
Gahlot added that all other employees including the bus conductor and depot officials have also been identified and an investigation has been initiated against them.
On Thursday morning, Arvind Kejriwal released a video in which a cluster bus drops off a male commuter and drives past the bus stop without stopping for three female commuters waiting to board it. Three women are also seen running after the moving bus. Bus number 623 Extension runs between Shahdara Terminal and CPWD Colony, Vasant Vihar.
Such behavior towards female commuters will not be tolerated and strict action will be taken against female drivers. We request all bus drivers to stop the bus at the designated stop for all commuters,” Arvind Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi.
Gahlot added that if people notice such irregularities, they should record a video and share it with the transport department for further action.
The facility of free travel for women in DTC and cluster buses started on 29 October 2019. During 2021–22, women passengers availed 13.4 million free journeys in DTC and 12.69 million in cluster buses. Women passengers are issued a ₹10 single-way ticket for both AC and non-AC buses in pink colour. DTC will print these passes and issue them to Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System Limited (DIMTS) for cluster buses.
According to transport ministry data, ₹130.48 crore and ₹126.9 crore in subsidy were given to DTC buses and cluster buses for free tickets issued in 2021–22.