Mumbai/New Delhi: After protesting for six hours outside the Delhi Chief Minister’s residence, Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday finally ordered the Transport Ministry to speed up the process of making the student pass valid in air-conditioned Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses.
Directed Transport Minister to expedite the proposal to allow student pass in AC buses also.— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) July 31, 2018
The six-hour sit-in was organised by left-wing All India Students Association (AISA).
Students from various colleges of the Delhi University joined the protest but later a delegation of six students was allowed to meet the Delhi CM.
Here’s the timeline of the protest:
02:00 pm: Students from various colleges gathered and protested outside Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence.
02:30 pm: A delegation of six students led by AISA DU President Kawalpreet Kaur, including Prasenjit Kumar, AISA DU VP Abhishek Yadav, Poornima Soni, Vikash Raj and Ayush Pandey went inside the CM’s residence.
The delegation kept requesting to meet CM but they were denied a meeting.
05:00 pm: Delhi police used force to evict the delegations outside the CM’s residence.
A police officer kicked Ayush, a student of Hansraj College, who was a part of the delegation.
06:00 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called in to inform that he would be meeting the delegation in an hour.
07:00 pm: Arvind Kejriwal met the students. He said he will ensure that the entire process for the validation of the students’ bus pass in AC buses will be completed within a month and from September 1, 2018, students can avail the facility.
Vikash Raj, a student of Dyal Singh College said, “We are not demanding AC bus pass because we want luxurious travel. Around 70 per cent of DTC buses are AC buses. We are left to travel in the remaining 30 per cent buses. Around 1.5 lakh students study in Delhi University and they get to ride only on the remaining 30 per cent buses with their bus passes. We in fact miss our morning classes waiting for the non-AC buses.”
One of the students at the protest, Meghna Mehra said “The non-AC buses are so crowded that female students become an easy target of eve-teasing and molestation. The number of buses needs to be increased and our bus passes need to be made valid in AC buses too to ease out the crowd.”
In January 2018, when the Delhi government doubled the metro fare, the student body requested to make their bus passes valid in AC buses as the increase of metro fare burnt hole in students’ pockets. It has been six months since Delhi CM promised but didn’t fulfil it. Students had to go again and remind Kejriwal of his promise. CM was forced to set this new September deadline for fulfilling the demand of AC bus pass following the students’ protest.
AISA, a student representative body have now decided to take their demand of concessional metro passes for students to Hardeep Puri, Housing and Urban Minister on August 3.