KSRTC staff federation writes to CM to release funds for women’s free travel

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There have been several instances of women passengers refusing to pay the bus fare.

BENGALURU: With women bus passengers already refusing to pay the bus fare in several instances across the state, leading to unpleasant situations, the KSRTC Staff and Workers’ Federation has written to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to release advance funds to the transport corporations to cover for the cost.

The federation has also sought the directives be issued to the transport corporations at the earliest regarding the implementation of the Sakhi scheme. With women passengers getting into arguments over paying the fare, bus conductors are at the receiving end and may even have to face action if they are caught by the ticket checking staff for not issuing tickets, the federation pointed out.

“Only if the Congress government implements the guarantees will people have any trust in it. Everyone does this only for votes and forget about it later. If they implement the Sakhi scheme, it will benefit many women, but I don’t think they will implement it”, said Nayana, a citizen.

“They promised so many things, but it was only for the elections. The government will not allow free travel for all women. Now, they are coming up with numerous conditions”, said Rashmi.

“They will not implement the scheme as promised. People don’t trust the government as they are now coming up with several conditions. They say travel will be free for women, but they will implement some other tax on us”, said Shilpa, another bus commuter.

Federation president H V Anantha Subba Rao said they have written to the CM seeking release of funds for the Sakhi scheme.

Federation president H V Anantha Subba Rao said, “The announcement of free travel for women was made in the Congress manifesto and they also issued guarantees. People think it would be done as soon as the new government came in. We have written to the CM stating that women are keen on the free travel scheme, especially in the rural areas. Bus conductors complain that women passengers are refusing to pay the fare and they may get caught by the ticket checking squads for not issuing tickets. The conductors cannot take the women passengers to the police station. Hence, the government should release funds immediately to meet any shortfall in the transport corporations”.

Currently, KSRTC buses ferry about 28 lakh passengers, BMTC buses carry 30 lakh passengers, and the NEKRTC and NWKRTC buses cater to 25 lakh passengers daily.

Meanwhile, the officials of the transport corporations have orally instructed their bus conductors not to get into arguments with passengers, but to convince them. In extreme cases, bus conductors have been asked to approach the nearest police station but to avoid taking law into their hands.

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