Karnataka to purchase 5,600 more buses following the success of Shakti scheme of free travel for women
The state budget allocated Rs 500 crore for this purpose, and the Chief Minister has ordered a swift procurement process.
Spurred by the huge response and public appreciation for the Shakti scheme that provides free travel for women across the state, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has directed officials to purchase 5,600 buses for the state road transport corporation.
According to a statement issued by the CM's office, the Chief Minister said Rs 500 crore has been provided in the state budget for acquiring new buses, and therefore ordered that the purchase process be completed soon.
There has been a 15 per cent increase in the number of passengers travelling by State Road Transport Corporation buses since the launch of the Shakti Scheme.
The CM also said that additional schedules and buses should be announced to provide passengers with better services.
A discussion was held in the meeting about the revenue target collection of the transport department and the financial management of the road transport corporations, it said, adding that CM was informed that Rs 83 crore fine has been collected from vehicle inspections.
Under the Karnataka government's 'Shakti' scheme, women residents of the state can avail free travel in state-run buses, but 50 per cent seats are reserved for men. Along with women, transgender persons can also travel for free.
The Congress in its election manifesto had promised free rides for women in non-luxury government buses and said this was one of the five poll guarantees that would come into effect the day it comes to power in the state. The poll 'guarantee' scheme was subsequently implemented.