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PM has received wrong inputs on Shakti free travel scheme in K’taka: Shivakumar

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Bengaluru, May 18 (IANS) Responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks that the Shakti scheme had resulted in a loss of revenue for the Bengaluru Metro, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar said on Saturday that “the Hon’ble PM has received wrong inputs on the free travel scheme”.Under the ‘Shakti’ scheme implemented by the Congress government in Karnataka led by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, women can avail free travel in state-run buses.Responding to media queries in this regard, Shivakumar said, “It is shocking to hear the statement of the Hon’ble Prime Minister, as he is not aware of the facts. The Shakti scheme in Karnataka is thriving; the common woman in the state is very happy. About 60 lakh women use this free travel service every day.””The allegation that this scheme generates a lot of pollution and causes losses for the Metro is not true. Income has increased by 30 percent and the Metro has made a profit of Rs 130 crore. The number of passengers has also increased. Metro is available only in Bengaluru, and the Shakti scheme is implemented throughout the state,” he explained.”In the southern part of the country, in states such as Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana, the scheme is doing very well. The people are happy. The Prime Minister might not know the facts about how people are benefiting,” Shivakumar stated.“I have been receiving calls from various state leaders across party lines regarding the implementation of the scheme. The government is paying all RTCs in the state. It was the first guarantee scheme to be implemented among the total five guarantees in the state,” he maintained.”The Karnataka government has already purchased an additional 1,000 new buses. We have distributed these buses all over the state. The government is purchasing more buses. Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy has taken an initiative to serve women,” he claimed.–IANSmka/bg

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