An intrepid DTC marshal has won praise from Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal after foiling a robbery on board the bus he was guarding. Santosh, who was riding the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) service from Tara Apartments to the Central Secretariat this morning, prevented the theft of a mobile phone. In a message posted on social media, Mr Kejriwal said "Delhi is proud of a marshal like Santosh".
"It is a matter of happiness that the bus marshals are bravely giving protection to our Delhi family in this way. Delhi is proud of a Marshall like Santosh," Arvind Kejriwal wrote in Hindi.
Santosh's actions came to light after a Twitter user posted a message identifying the bus marshal and the route he was travelling. The message said the marshal had "caught the thief red handed".
"Santosh, the Marshal in DTC Bus #540 (DL1PC9627) plying from Tara Apartment to Central Secretariat (started at 9.10 am on 02.11.2019, Saturday) prevented mobile theft in front of all passengers and caught the thief red handed. Mobile phone was returned to the owner," the tweet read.
कितनी ख़ुशी की बात है कि बस मार्शल बहादुरी से इस तरह हमारे दिल्ली परिवार को सुरक्षा दे रहे हैं। दिल्ली को संतोष जैसे मार्शल पर गर्व है। https://t.co/jx9cdO9kIF— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) November 2, 2019
On Monday, Mr Kejriwal had announced an increase in the number of bus marshals deployed across the national capital - from 3,400 to nearly 13,000. The Chief Minister said the move highlighted his government's commitment to making the city state a safer place for women.
"I am entrusting you all with a responsibility to ensure safety of women in each government bus and generate confidence in them so that they feel the comfort of a home in our buses," Arvind Kejriwal told some of the new marshals at a function in Delhi's Tyagraj Stadium.
"We are committed to boost(ing) security of women in Delhi. And, I don't think the level at which we have scaled up the strength of bus marshals, it has been done in any city in the world," he added.
Last week Mr Kejriwal also rolled out his ambitious scheme to provide women free transportation on DTC and cluster buses. He called it a "historic move" that would increase the role women played in Delhi's economy. More than two lakh women were given pink tickets - allowing them free rides on buses - on the day of the scheme's launch.
Announced in June, with Assembly elections due in Delhi next year, the AAP government's plan sparked an argument over who would bear the Rs 700 crore expense. On Monday Mr Kejriwal said that as the "elder son this family" he would bear that cost.
In addition to the increase in the number of bus marshals, the Chief Minister also flagged off 104 new buses last week. Mr Kejriwal, who was at a bus depot in the Dwaraka neighbourhood of Delhi, said the new buses (and services) were a huge step towards providing safe and convenient public transport.