Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], April 1 (ANI): Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday virtually launched a free travel facility for women in government buses running within the state.
"With this, we have fulfilled another poll manifesto promise," said the Chief Minister, adding that after the record-making 85 per cent promises implemented, his government was now moving forward towards the realisation of all 100 per cent of the commitments.
Pointing out that other parties were promising free travel for women now in states going to polls, he said "while everyone talks about women empowerment, his government had taken several concrete measures to achieve the same. In fact, while the promise of his government was to reduce ticket price for women by 50 per cent, it had gone ahead to make it totally free, he said, urging private bus operators to also understand their social responsibility and reduce tariff."
During the virtual launch, connected live to 30000 people across 1036 locations, Surinder Kaur, travelling from Bagapurana to Jalandhar to fetch her medicines, said she was pleasantly surprised this morning to discover about the scheme on boarding a bus. The scheme will be very helpful to women from poor families.
Under the free travel scheme, which will benefit over 1.31 crore women and girls across the state, all women, irrespective of their financial status, will be able to travel free of cost in all non-AC buses, intra-state, just by showing Aadhar or Voter card or some other valid identity card.
"The move would make it much easier for her now to travel to meet her family and friends without worrying about the expense. Another woman commuter dubbed it a great decision for the empowerment of women," said Naina, passenger.
"The free travel scheme will be a boost to the realisation of his Government's vision for inclusive growth and development of women and girls, who have already been provided 50 per cent reservation in Panchayati Raj and Local Bodies institutions in the state, along with 33 per cent reservation in government jobs. In line with this commitment, 33000 women will get jobs this year in the state, the Chief Minister pointed out, adding that a large number of girl students had also been provided smartphones to help them study during the pandemic," said Chief Minister.
Expressing concern over crimes against women, the Chief Minister said his government was committed to their safety, and the Transport Department was installing GPS systems in all government and private buses, to enable easy tracking of the vehicle, in addition to a panic button for emergency use.
Captain Amarinder further announced 25 more bus stations to be built in the state to improve road connectivity. (ANI)