Punjab: CM launches free travel for women in government-run buses
(Sourced from PTI)
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, on Thursday, launched a free travel facility for women in government buses within the state. The Punjab Cabinet on Wednesday gave its approval for the scheme. "With this, we have fulfilled another poll manifesto promise," the chief minister said after the launch and claimed that a record 85 percent of promises have been implemented by his government.
Singh said the state government was now moving toward realizing 100 percent of the commitments made before the assembly elections. The Punjab government has taken several concrete measures to achieve the same. While the promise was to reduce bus ticket prices for women by 50 percent, the government made it totally free. Singh urged private bus operators to understand social responsibilities and reduce tariffs.
Women can avail the scheme in government-owned buses, including Punjab Roadways Transport Corporation, Punjab Roadways Buses, and city bus services operated by the Local Bodies Department. However, it is not applicable to the government-owned AC, Volvo, and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) buses.
The Chief Minister said his government was committed to women's safety. The transport department is installing GPS in all government and private buses to enable easy tracking of vehicles, in addition to panic buttons for emergencies. The process is nearly complete for government buses, and private operators have been asked to get this done by August 31, the chief minister said in a statement.
25 more bus stations will be built in the state to improve road connectivity. Around 33,000 women will get jobs in the state this year and a large number of girl students have been provided smartphones to help them study during the pandemic.
During the virtual launch that connected 30,000 people across 1,036 locations, Surinder Kaur, who boarded a bus from Baghapurana to Jalandhar to fetch medicines, said she was pleasantly surprised to discover about the scheme. Punjab Youth Congress chief Barinder Dhillon lauded the move. He said free travel for students to and from educational institutes should be considered to promote education.