RTC gears up to implement 'free travel for women' guarantee

The Congress high command had given nod to Revanth's candidature for the CM post and RTC officials are planning to get the report ready

The Congress government has begun efforts to implement the 'free travel for women in RTC buses' guarantee. The Congress promised to enforce six guarantees if voted to power.

As part of it, the RTC officials are preparing estimates to gauge the financial implications of the scheme on the government exchequer. A team of four RTC officials are planning to go to Bengaluru to study how the same scheme is being implemented in the neighbouring state where the Congress government made a similar promise and has begun enforcing it.

The team would study the nitty-gritty of the scheme for two days and submit a report to the government on its return.

With the Congress being elected to power and ready to form the government, the party is planning to implement all the promises made to the public during the hustings.

The Congress high command had given nod to Revanth Reddy's candidature for the chief minister post and the RTC officials are planning to get the report ready by the time he asks for it.

The scheme was first introduced in Tamil Nadu, in the southern states. The facility is confined to travel in ordinary buses in cities and towns in that state. The officials introduced pink buses specially for the implementation of the scheme. Women intending to travel free have to board these buses only.

However, in Karnataka, the Congress has extended this facility to Express services too and is also allowing women to travel across the state freely. The Congress government implemented the scheme soon after being voted to power and made a similar promise in neighbouring Telangana.

There is no clarity if the Congress would implement the scheme in the Tamil Nadu or Karnataka manner, in Telangana.

If the scheme is to be implemented like in Karnataka, providing the facility both in Express and ordinary services, it would cost Rs 2,200 crore yearly for the government. If it would confine the facility to Palle Velugu buses, it is estimated to cost Rs 750 crore annually.

If the government has to implement the scheme, it will have to reimburse the amount the RTC would lose on the ticket fare. If the government is planning to provide the free travel facility in Express buses too, the government will have to reimburse Rs 185 crore to the RTC every month, which would amount to Rs 2,200 crore per year.

Further, the government will also have to finalise on the number of women who would travel free in the buses, for which purpose it has introduced zero ticket method in Tamil Nadu. Women would be issued tickets printed Rs 0 on it. The number of Rs 0 tickets issued per day would be counted and then the expenditure would be calculated. It has to be seen if the government would adopt a similar method in Telangana too.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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