The Karnataka government, on Monday, 5 June, issued orders detailing guidelines for the implementation of the Shakti scheme under which women can avail free travel in state-run buses and Gruha Jyoti scheme that provides up to 200 units of free electricity to households, subject to several conditions.
According to the order on Shakti — which comes into effect on 11 June — scheme is meant only for those who are domiciled in Karnataka.
Along with women, transgender women can also make use of the Shakti scheme — which also reserves 50 percent of the seats in buses for men, except in Bengaluru city. The scheme is meant only for travel within the state, and does not apply to inter-state buses.
The Congress, in its election manifesto for the recent Karnataka Assembly election, had promised free bus rides for women in government buses — one of the five “guarantees” it that offered to the people of the state.
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Shakti: The details
All luxury buses such as Rajahamsa, non-AC sleepers, Vajra, Vayu Airavat, Airavat Club Class, Airavat Gold Class, Ambari, Ambari Dream Class, Ambari Utsav Fly Bus, and EV Power Plus have been excluded from the purview of the scheme.
The scheme can be availed in buses operated by Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), North West Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) and Kalyana Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (KKRTC).
Other than the BMTC, 50 percent of seats will be reserved for men in the remaining three state road transport corporations — KSRTC, NWKRTC and KKRTC.
The order also stated that the reimbursement to road transport corporations would be made on the basis of actual distance travelled by women passengers.
In the next three months, women can apply for the Shakti Smart Card through the “Seva Sindhu” government portal.
Till the Shakti Smart Cards are issued, beneficiaries can use the identity cards issued either by the Centre or state government, the order stated.
Gruha Jyoti: The details
The Gruha Jyoti scheme — another of the five guarantees — had promised to 200 units of free electricity to all. An order issued on Monday, made it clear the scheme will be applicable only for domestic, and not commercial, users and comes with several other conditions attached.
Despite Congress’ poll promise that 200 units of electricity would be free for all, the scheme will now apply only to those households that consume less than 200 units of electricity per month. Households that already consume more than 200 units will not be eligible for the scheme. Households that use more than 200 units of electricity will have to pay the full bill, the order said.
For households consuming less than 200 units of electricity, the government will consider an additional 10 percent usage over and above annual consumption average as likely increase in consumption. While some households may have to pay for differential units, others will get a ‘zero bill’, depending on total consumption.
Those who want to avail benefit have to enroll themselves in the Seva Sindhu portal of the state government.
Every beneficiary will also have to link their customer ID or account ID with Aadhaar.
The government also said that the beneficiaries of schemes such as ‘Bhagya Jyoti’, ‘Kuteera Jyoti’ and ‘Amruta Jyoti’ will be included in the Gruha Jyoti scheme.
Electricity meter installation and its regular reading has been made mandatory.
The government said the electricity supply company will be compensated for the free electricity provided to consumers. Payment of all pending electricity dues are also mandatory to avail the scheme.