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Conditions for 'Shakti' Yojana: Women need 'smart card' for free bus travel
As promised by the Congress in its manifesto before the Karnataka Assembly Elections 2023, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has announced five guarantees (Congress Guarantee) while rising to power.
BENGALURU: As promised by the Congress in its manifesto before the Karnataka Assembly Elections 2023, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has announced five guarantees (Congress Guarantee) while rising to power. The government on Monday (June 5) published the Shakti Yojana guidelines to allow free travel for women in selected buses of these transport corporations.
Under the Shakti Yojana of the state Congress government, all women, students and transgenders of the state have been allowed to travel free in all government buses except AC buses and luxury buses. From June 11, regular buses of the state's four transport bodies, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), North West Karnataka Road Transport Corporation and Kalyan Karnataka Road Transport Corporation will be allowed to travel free of charge. But according to the guidelines published on Monday, it is mandatory for women to have `Shakti Smart Card' if they want to travel free of charge in transport buses.
Under this scheme, the Congress had promised free bus travel to women in its manifesto for the Karnataka assembly elections. After Siddaramaiah took over as chief minister, the government gave cabinet approval to the scheme along with four other Congress guarantees. The Karnataka Cabinet announced the implementation of the 'Shakti' scheme on June 11.
All women residents of Karnataka including students are eligible for this scheme. Besides, gender minorities (third genders) can also avail the benefits of the 'Shakti' scheme.
A 'Shakti' smart card is required for free travel in government buses. A time period of three months is given, women can apply online through the Seva Sindhu (sevesindhu.karnataka.gov.in) website and get the 'Shakti' smart card, the government said in its order. However, it is not clear when the government will start issuing these cards.
Till these cards are issued, identity cards with photograph and residential address issued by Government of India/Government of Karnataka Departments/Government owned offices shall be considered for issue of free tickets, the guidelines said. Aadhaar card should also be considered for free travel from June 11.
How to get free bus Shakti smart cards
Until the issuance of 'Shakti' smart cards, the government has allowed photo identity cards with residential addresses, including Aadhaar cards, to be shown to conductors during bus journeys.
In its order, the government said that the scheme will be implemented in all the four transport corporations of the state in Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), North Western Road Transport Corporation (NWRTC) and Kalyana Karnataka Transport Corporation (KKRTC) buses.
The 'Shakti' scheme will be implemented in buses belonging to these four transport corporations plying within the state. Free bus pass scheme will be applicable for Meghdoot buses also. Buses not covered under Shakti' scheme are buses traveling outside the state, Luxury buses, Sleeper buses including both AC and Non AC, Vayu Vajra, Ambari, Airavata, Flybus and EV Power Plus (AC).
The government has made it mandatory to reserve 50% seats for men in buses where the 'Shakti' scheme is applicable.
Now the state government has made it mandatory to issue zero fare tickets. The ticket has 'Women Passenger Free Ticket Shakti Yojana' written on it and there are no fare charges entered on the ticket. Instead, the information of from and to will be mentioned. Operators are mandated to issue such zero-fare tickets.