NEW DELHI, June 3 (Xinhua) -- Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday announced free travel for women in the Indian capital in government-owned buses and the Metro trains run by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.

"The objective is to encourage the women to maximise the use of public transport. Public transport is considered as the safest for the women, and women safety is our top priority. It's not mandatory for every woman to avail free travel. Those women who can afford to pay for their travel, are free to do it," said Kejriwal while announcing his government's decision to the media.

The chief minister further stated that the expenses incurred on providing free travel to women would be borne by his government.

Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gehlot reportedly said that the state government will soon buy more buses to ensure smooth travel by women. "The process of procurement of new buses will take around 2-3 months," he was quoted as saying by TV reports.

According to rough estimates, the state government will bear around 1,200 crore Indian Rupees (172 million U.S. dollars) annually in providing free travel to women. The move is seen as politically motivated, as the Delhi state goes to polls early next year.