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Karnataka Government Introduces Shakti Scheme: Free Bus Travel for Women and Transgender Persons

The Karnataka transport department has announced the implementation of the Shakti scheme, enabling women and transgender persons to travel for free on government buses. The scheme, set to commence on June 11, will apply to buses operated by the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), North Western Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC), and Kalyana Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (KKRTC).

Under the Shakti scheme, women and transgender persons will have the opportunity to avail free bus rides within the state of Karnataka. However, the scheme excludes A/C and luxury buses, as well as specific bus categories such as Sleeper, Vajra, Vayuvajra, Airavat, Airavat Club Class, Airavat Gold Class, Ambari, Ambari Utsav, Rajahamsa, and EV Power Plus.

The Karnataka government will bear the cost incurred by the transport agencies for implementing the scheme. Reimbursement to the road transport corporations will be based on the actual distance traveled by women passengers.

To facilitate the process, the government will issue Shakti Smart cards within three months after receiving and reviewing applications through the Seva Sindu portal. In the meantime, transport corporations will provide zero-sum tickets to women upon presenting valid government identity proof. Transport officials have indicated that the scheme covers approximately 94 percent of buses operated by the four road transport corporations. However, implementing the Shakti scheme is estimated to cost over Rs 4,220 crore annually. Additionally, the four corporations will need to establish 4,028 new buses and hire 13,793 workers to ensure the smooth implementation of the scheme.

The introduction of the Shakti scheme fulfills one of the five poll guarantees made by the ruling Congress party in Karnataka. This initiative aims to promote inclusivity, empower women, and provide convenient and accessible transportation options for women and transgender persons across the state. Starting from June 11, women and transgender persons in Karnataka can take advantage of this significant step towards equitable and affordable public transportation. The Shakti scheme not only recognizes the importance of ensuring safe and accessible travel for all but also promotes gender equality and social inclusion in the transport sector.

Ashwini Ellendula
Ashwini Ellendula
Ashwini is a travel blogger passionate about travel news. she brings the latest travel trends and news to her readers. Her passion and dedication to providing accurate and up-to-date information for travel news and insights.

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