Shocked by PM Modi’s remarks on Shakti scheme causing loss to metro: D K Shivakumar


PTI, May 18, 2024, 7:23 PM IST

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar on Saturday said that he is “shocked” by the reported statement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the “Shakthi scheme had resulted in loss of revenue for the Bengaluru metro”.

Under the ‘Shakti’ scheme implemented by the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government, women can avail free travel in state-run buses.

Hitting out at Modi, the state deputy chief minister said that the prime minister lacks information on the Shakthi scheme and hence he has said that it has impacted revenues of the Bengaluru metro.

“Namma metro has earned a revenue of Rs 130 crore in the last one year. Footfalls too have gone up by 30 per cent for the same period. Bengaluru metro is limited to Bengaluru, while the Shakthi scheme is rolled out, keeping in mind people from across the state,” he told reporters here.

The Shakthi scheme is rolled out by the Congress to ease the burden of price rise and inflation on women, Shivakumar said.

“Metro is a joint initiative between the State and the Centre and it has done well over the last one year. Someone seems to have provided incorrect information to the prime minister,” he added.

“I would like to convey to the PM that the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and Bengaluru metro are being run efficiently while offering the Shakthi scheme to women. Women are taking 60 lakh trips per day in Karnataka. They are very happy with the Shakthi scheme. Many other states are expressing interest in Shakthi scheme,” he said.

PM Modi has reportedly spoken in an interview on bus and the Metro rail services and whether or not he made a specific reference to Karnataka is not known.

When asked if there was a shortage of buses in North Karnataka, Shivakumar said, “We have already taken a decision to buy 1,000 new buses. Of these, 100 buses have been allocated to Ramanagara district. Buses will be allocated to North Karnataka as well.

“We are not looking at making profits from KSRTC. We are only ensuring it doesn’t make losses. The government is reimbursing the cost of tickets under the Shakthi scheme,” he said.

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