Women in Karnataka avail themselves of 227 crore free rides in govt buses in one year: Minister

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KSRTC Karnataka Women Free Bus Shakti Scheme

Bengaluru: Women in Karnataka have availed themselves of 227 crore free rides in government non-luxury buses under the 'Shakti' guarantee in the last one year, costing the state exchequer Rs 5,526.64 crore, Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy said on Tuesday.

The Congress government, led by Siddaramaiah, launched the 'Shakti' scheme -- one of the five guarantees which the party had promised before the Assembly elections -- on June 11 last year.

These promises are said to have yielded rich electoral dividends to the Congress, helping it dethrone the Basavaraj Bommai-led BJP government.

As the government celebrates one year of 'Shakti' guarantee implementation, Reddy said in a statement that 226.95 women travelled free of cost in the government buses.

Most such rides were accounted for by the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation buses (BMTC-71.45 crore), followed by Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC-69.5 crore).

North West Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) and Kalyana Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (KKRTC) posted 52.12 crore and 33.47 crore free rides, respectively.

KSRTC incurred an expenditure of Rs 2,111.14 crore, NWKRTC Rs 1,352.68 crore, KKRTC Rs 1,125.81 crore and BMTC Rs 937.01 crore, the statement said.

Reddy said several measures have been taken to improve the public transport system such as approval for the induction of 5,800 new buses. In addition, 2,438 new buses have been inducted across the four transport corporations in recent times.

According to the minister, the state inducted new buses with brand name 'Pallakki', 'Ashwamedha Classic', 'Kalyana Ratha' and 'Amogha Varsha'.

Approval has been accorded for recruitment of 9,000 posts in the department. In this regard, appointment orders have been issued to recruit 1,844 driver-cum-conductors and technical assistants, Reddy said.

"Recruitment for 6,500 posts (KSRTC- 2,500 driver-cum-conductors, BMTC-2,000 conductors, NWKRTC -1,000 drivers and 1,000 conductors) is under process and will be completed soon," the minister said.

The government has also enhanced accident relief compensation from Rs three lakh to Rs 10 lakh to dependents in case of death of any passenger in an accident while travelling in bus operated by state-run corporations, he added.