Free bus travel scheme rolled out in Warangal, Karimnagar regions
Warangal/Karimnagar: The ‘Maha Lakshmi’ scheme, one of the Six Guarantees promised by the Congress, which provides free travel for girls, women and transpersons of all age groups in ordinary and express buses of the TSRTC within the state, has been launched in the erstwhile Warangal and Karimnagar districts on a grand note on Saturday. The Congress promised the implementation of the scheme during the Assembly election campaign if it came to power in the state.
There are nine RTC bus depots with 900 buses ferrying around 2.80 lakh passengers with 45 per cent of them are women daily in the Warangal region covering six districts such as Warangal, Hanamkonda, Jangaon, Mulugu, Mahabubabad and Jayashakar Bhupalpally while 11 depots with around 800 buses are ferrying 2.5 lakh passengers with 40 per cent of are women in Karimnagar region covering Karimnagar, Peddapalli, Jagtial and Rajanna Sircilla districts.
The TSRTC earns 47.25 lakh daily from women passengers in the Warangal region 45 lakh from the Karimnagar region. However, with the launch of the Maha Lakshmi scheme, the RTC will suffer a loss of '92.25 lakh daily from both regions, which will be reimbursed by the state government.
N. Saritha Rani, a housewife of Hanamkonda district, told Deccan Chronicle that she and her mother could save around '1,200 for a round trip by availing free travel on express service to Hyderabad to visit her sister on Saturday. She thanked the Congress for honouring its promise on the very third day after forming its government in the state.
Rathika, a transperson, said that the previous government was least bothered about the transgender community and did not take up any such initiative.
“The people of our community are facing a lot of problems as they were not getting any employment opportunities, forcing them to beg for a living. The free RTC bus travel is a great relief to the transgender community and we are very much thankful to Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy,” Rathika said.
Meanwhile, RTC Warangal regional manager J. Srilatha appealed to women to utilise the free travel scheme by showing any identity card to the conductor on intra-state ordinary and express buses.