Women in Punjab to travel free in government-run buses: Women in Punjab will get to travel free of cost in all government-run buses within the state from Thursday, with the Cabinet giving its formal approval to the scheme, announced by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh earlier this month.
The Chief Minister had announced the free travel scheme in the Assembly on March 5, as part of his government’s efforts to empower women and girls in the state.
The scheme will benefit over 1.31 crore women and girls across the state. As per Census 2011, Punjab has a population of 2.77 crore, comprising 1,46,39,465 men and 1,31,03,873 women.
Under the scheme, women residents of Punjab can avail free bus travel in government-owned buses, including of the PEPSU Road Transport Corporation (PRTC), the Punjab Roadways Buses (PUNBUS) and City Bus Services operated by local bodies.
However, the scheme is not applicable to government-owned air conditioned buses, Volvo buses and HVAC buses.
Documents like Aadhaar card, voter card or any other proof of residence in Punjab would be required to avail the facility.
Further, all women who are family members of state government employees and residing in Chandigarh, or are themselves employees of the government but live in Chandigarh, can avail the benefit, irrespective of age and income criteria, of free travel in the government buses.
This scheme is expected to not only reduce female drop-out in schools because of high cost of daily transport but also facilitate working women, who have to travel considerable distances to their workplace. The facility will thus ensure access to safe, cheap and reliable travel for women to engage in any economic activity.
Since the scheme is expected to encourage women and their companions to utilise public transport, it would naturally bring down the number of personal vehicles plying on the roads leading to consequent reduction in pollution, accidents and vehicular congestion, the Cabinet felt.
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