Tamil Nadu: 7.8 million women availed of free bus travel in 3 days
As normalcy returns to Tamil Nadu after the relaxation of lockdown measures, the free bus travel for women announced by the state government in May is turning popular again. Tamil Nadu transport minister RS Rajakannappan said that 7.8 million women availed themselves of this free travel in three days, reported Tamil Daily Dinamalar. On average 2.8 million women are travelling free every day, Rajakannappan said.
The DMK government after taking charge announced the free bus travel scheme for women in the ordinary buses operated by the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC). Rajakannappan said the scheme has been received well among the people and that the department is also considering bus services wherever necessary.
Giving details of the women passengers, the minister said that 7.8 million women travelled free from July 12 to July 15. In addition to that, as many as 5,741 transwomen, 51,615 differently-abled people, and 8,396 of their companions travelled free in the transport corporation buses. Under the ‘Nirbhaya scheme’, the state government is planning to install CCTV cameras in 2,500 state government buses soon for which ₹70 crore fund has been set aside. Out of the sanctioned fund, the department has received ₹41 crore and the project is underway, Rajakannappan said.
The transport minister said that the skyrocketing fuel price is bleeding the transport corporation which is running under the loss of ₹33,000 crore already. Diesel price was ₹68 per litre in 2018 and inflating fuel prices worsened the financial situation of the transport corporations. The objective of the government is not to profit but to provide affordable bus services to people. The fare when compared to other states is very low in Tamil Nadu and bus services are aimed at the last leg connectivity, he said.
The bus services to the Union territory of Puducherry resumed after the lockdown norms eased in the state. Karnataka government’s request for resuming bus services is under consideration, Rajakannappan added.