Delhi transport minister Gopal Rai quits on graft charges

Delhi's transport minister Gopal Rai resigned today, barely a day after saying that he was ready to go to jail if charges of corruption in an app-based premium bus service scheme were proved.

Delhi public works department and health minister Satyendra Jain will take charge of transport ministry of the national capital region.

The Delhi government had in April announced that the premium bus service would be made operational from mid-June. Registrations were to be started on 1 June. But throwing a spanner into the wheels, Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung refused to give his assent and asked Rai to review the decision.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Vijender Gupta filed a complaint with the Anti-Corruption Bureau alleging that no norms were followed by the government.

Meanwhile, Delhi Transport Corporation suffered a loss of Rs5,022 crore on operations during 2010-15 and could not procure a single bus despite availability of funds even as breakdown of the existing ones increased, the CAG has observed in a performance audit report of the transport body.

The CAG has indicted DTC for favouring cluster buses "in excess" of the agreed share, thus "adversely" impacting the revenue earning potential of the corporation and its financial interest.

''The corporation was operating 574 out of 791 routes as on March 31, 2015…not even one of these routes was profitable and many of them were not recovering even the variable cost…As a result the corporation suffered a loss of Rs 5,022.05 crore on operations during 2010-15,'' the report said.