Passengers hail Congress scheme, calls it a breather
Hyderabad: The inaugural day of Telangana's groundbreaking Maha Lakshmi free bus travel for women scheme was marked by excitement and anticipation. As buses rolled out, filled with smiling women, the air buzzed with conversations about the initiative.
Amid the jubilation, bus conductors diligently made announcements, asking women passengers to bring their voter IDs or Aadhar cards from the following day. In several buses, conductors didn't even approach the women’s section for the day.
Students who were pleased to learn that although their current bus passes became obsolete, they no longer had to bear the expense of renewing them.
Shireen Khatri, an IT employee, exclaimed, "I have a direct metro bus service from my home to Raidurg that costs me about Rs 70-Rs 80. Thanks to the free bus travel, I’ll save about Rs 1,500 a month." For many, this newfound financial relief is a game-changer.
Mahitha Rajshekar Rao boarded the bus with her eight-year-old son for whom she had to buy a half-ticket. "It's an interesting change. I had a good time explaining to my son why it was so," she said.
Yashaswini P, an intermediate student who travels from Boduppal to Narayanguda, said she has an ordinary bus pass and thinks twice to board an express service. "I don't have to worry about that now" she said.
Reena Mutyam, an engineering student, used to take a share-autorickshaw from Koti as the ticket price was almost the same as the bus and they seemed to be more frequent. "Now since it's free, and I take the bus, this is a breather," she said.
Mallika, a househelp, who takes her second-hand two-wheeler to work, tried the bus after a long time and said it was the best remedy to the rising petrol prices.
The rule seeking local residency was a twister from women from other states who reside here who do not have a local address proof. One passenger said, "I've been living in the state for four years and have applied for a voter’s card, but I can't afford a permanent address due to the nature of my job."
Still, there was an underlying sense of optimism. "These issues are a natural part of the process. I'm sure the situation will improve," said Kasturamma, a housekeeping staff at a corporate college in Narayanguda.