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Sep 2 – Private transport owners in Bengaluru are planning a ‘Bengaluru bandh’ on September 11, 2023.
The explanation is Congress’ ‘Shakti’ scheme, which was established shortly after the new administration took office. The Shakti scheme provides free transport for women throughout Karnataka.
As a result, private transport operators in cities such as Bengaluru, Mangaluru, and Udupi that rely on their bus fleet for existence have suffered significant losses.
According to a Moneycontrol investigation, the initiative has harmed more than 32 transport unions.
The unions have asked for a ban on bike taxis as well as Rs 10,000 in financial assistance for each driver. Their requests include, among other things, a complete prohibition on app-based aggregators, a corporation to help unorganised commercial drivers, and scholarships for their children.
While ‘bandhs’ were relatively widespread a few years ago, they have recently lost popular support from the general population. State transport minister Ramalinga Reddy met with a few members and asked them to call off the planned strike on July 27.
The strike has been called again this time because their demands have not been met.
Women can ride for free in non-premium services of state road transport corporations under the Shakti scheme.
Since the scheme’s implementation, there has been a significant increase in the number of female passengers.
The daily ridership of women in public buses in Bengaluru increased from 27 lakh in May 2023 to approximately 40 lakh in June 2023, according to the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC).
Several sources have recommended that BMTC needs to boost the number of fleets in Bengaluru immediately to meet increased demand.
The Comprehensive Mobility Plan for Karnataka proposed increasing the fleet to 13,000 buses by 2025, however the current fleet strength stands at 6,688 (of which 5,557 are active).
This is less than half of what BMTC’s fleet should have been. Given Bengaluru’s population, analysts believe that the city will require between 14,000 and 15,000 buses to meet demand.