Dharwad: Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy has stated that the government’s flagship program “Shakti,” which offers free bus rides to women is continuing with great success. He revealed that the daily ridership on government buses has now increased to approximately 1.10 crore people, up from 85 lakhs before the implementation of the Shakti scheme.
Minister Reddy made these remarks while participating in various events as part of the NWKRTC’s silver jubilee celebration at the Dr. D. Veerendra Heggade Kalakshetra in Sattur on Sunday evening.
To support various programs and initiatives in the Transport Department, the Chief Minister has allocated approximately Rs. 1500 crores in the current budget, with Rs. 150 crores already released to the North Western Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation, according to the minister.
He also mentioned that several plans are in progress to enhance the convenience and safety of commuters within the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation, including the addition of 325 new buses. Additionally, the Transport Department is moving towards a future without diesel buses or vehicles over the next 30 years. They have initiated the introduction of electric buses, with plans to purchase more from the State Transport Department, with an estimated allocation of Rs. 150 crores in the current budget. To support this transition, electrification work at all bus terminals is underway, with Rs. 15 crores already allocated for the electrification of bus terminals in Hubballi, Dharwad, and Belagavi.
Furthermore, an allocation of Rs. 45 crores has been approved to upgrade and electrify all bus terminals in Hubballi-Dharwad, aimed at providing enhanced facilities for passengers. With approximately 3 lakh people traveling by buses daily in the twin cities, ensuring passenger convenience is a top priority, noted the minister.
To improve the Hubballi-Dharwad bus terminal and construct a new terminal in Hosur, an allocation of Rs. 23.48 crores has been sanctioned, and Rs. 13.11 crores have been allocated for the upgrade of the new bus terminal in Dharwad. Work has already commenced on the modernization of bus terminals in Hubballi, Dharwad, and Belagavi, and the department has also made decisions regarding the purchase of new buses and the appointment of around 13,000 new staff, Minister Reddy informed.
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