The government has announced free travel for all students till the higher secondary level on state road transport corporation buses. Transport minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan told the assembly on Thursday that the facility would be offered to 1,30,000 students availing concession for travel in KSRTC buses now.
The free travel facility will be applicable for two trips/day on all days except Saturday, Sunday and other declared public holidays. “We are offering this for students up to class XII on all school days,” Radhakrishnan said.
The minister said the government had decided to utilise the marginal increase in profit from diesel price fall for the purpose. “The corporation is getting an extra Rs 16.5 lakh/day, which we will utilize for students.”
Raising the matter in the assembly, Congress MLA V T Balram said the government should reduce the bus fare in view of the falling diesel price. The minister’s announcement came as a response to this.
The new scheme, to be introduced on February 1, 2015, will be launched on an experimental basis for a year, after which it will be reviewed and modified accordingly.
“We will introduce smart cards at a nominal annual fee of Rs 10. A swiping machine will be introduced in buses to record the trips,” Radhakrishnan said.
The minister said the government had also decided to limit the number of students travelling free in each bus to 25. The scheme will be implemented on nationalised bus routes and those routes on which only KSRTC buses are operational.
He said the government would give priority to girls, BPL and SC/ST students for free travel. The government collects Rs 4 lakh/day from concessions now.
The free travel facility, available across the state,will be applicable for two trips per day on all days except Saturday, Sunday and other declared public holidays.
News: Times of India