Free Bus Service For Women In Karnataka
One of the five promises made by Karnataka’s new Congress government is that women will be able to ride buses for free. On Monday, the Transport Department put out a government order that explains how this will work.
The plan will start on June 11 and will only help women who live in Karnataka. There will also be help for female students and people who speak a language other than English.
Beneficiaries will have to show a photo ID and proof of address from the government for the first three months. The bus drivers will give them tickets with no fare.
Then, people who need help will have to apply for Shakti smartcards on the government’s Seva Sindh website. These cards are named after the program.
In Karnataka, government buses take about 40 million women to work every day. The free travel plan is expected to increase the number by 10%. It will cost the government about Rs 4,700 crore per year.
The head of the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), V. Anbukumar, said that the plan would lead to better service once it was put into place.
He said that the KSRTC was sure that the government would give it money to help it run every day. When asked if the free travel plan would affect the buying of diesel, he said “no.”
“Every day, we buy Rs 5 crore worth of fuel from HPCL and get 60 days to pay for it. So nothing will go wrong,” he told DH. He also said that the government pays RTCs every three months.
He also made it clear that getting paid won’t be a problem. “For three years, the government has helped us. We can get by,” he said.
Anbukumar did not agree that rural women would be hurt by having to apply for Shakti smartcards online. “We shouldn’t think less of people in the country,” he said.
What you need to know about the bus services for women in Karnataka
*The plan will be used by all four of the state’s Road Transport Corporations (KSRTC, BMTC, NWKRTC, and KKRTC).
There will be city, regular, and express bus services as part of the plan. Women can only ride buses for free within their own state. Even if women travel within Karnataka, bus services to places outside of the state will not be covered by the scheme. For example, a woman taking a Hubballi-Kolhapur bus to get to Belagavi will have to buy a ticket.
*The plan won’t apply to luxury buses like the Rajahamsa, Airavat, Airavat Club Class, Airavat Gold Class, non-AC sleeper, Ambaari Dream Class, Ambaari Utsav, Fly Bus, EV Power Plus, Vajra, and Vayu Vajra.