BENGALURU: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar on Sunday launched free travel scheme for women in Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) under ‘Shakti Yojana’.
The free travel for women in KSRTC and BMTC buses was part of the Congress manifesto for the Karnataka Assembly elections.
Karnataka Transport Minister, Ramalinga Reddy briefed people about the Shakti Yojana Scheme.
The Minister said that the smart cards for free bus travel would be granted after three months.
“Three months will be there to apply for the smart passes. Smart passes will not breach any privacy. People in rural areas can reach out to help centres for those who dont have access to online mediums. The government is launching the Shakthi scheme today,” he said.
Reddy also added that the aim of the Shakthi scheme was to prioritise the easy and safe travel of women commuters.
“The ease of travel for women is the priority,” the Minister said
On the occasion of the launch of the free bus service, Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala took to Twitter and asserted that Congress fulfilled its commitment to offer free bus travel.
“Shakti’ – the Congress Guarantee rolls in Karnataka today – Guaranteeing free travel in buses to Women across the State. Congress is truth! Congress is commitment! Congress stands with people,” tweeted Surjewala.
Karnataka Education Minister Madhu Bangarappa expressed his happiness on the launch of the Shakti Scheme and said that all the schemes promised by Congress in the state would have been implemented by August 15.
“We are very happy we are launching Shakti for all women of all ages. We have already started executing one by one. By August 15, all schemes will be implemented. We will start delivering as we promised,” he said.
The Minister also stated that the Congress manifesto promised the provision of buses for the state’s children and that more buses will be introduced.
“I have got 1.20 crore children upto 12th standard. I want them to avail of this service. In our manifesto, we had promised this. We will be adding more buses. Our target is 15,000 buses. We want them to avail all facilities,” said the Education Minister.
Amid the launch of the Shakti Yojana Scheme, a mixed reaction has come to the fore from the people of Bengaluru.
The majority of the women expressed their delight and said that providing free bus transportation to women will benefit everyone.
However, others said that offering free bus travel would make people lazy.
“I do not need a free ride on a government bus. Now they have put some other conditions for it. I am against it,” said a woman commuter. (ANI)