The news looks to be very pleasing as many senior citizens may get benefits of the new development, but really, will all of them get these benefits? Or is this scheme focused on a limited number of people? This is a very important question as Goa consists of more rural areas compared to urban and Kadamba Buses do not serve or at least have very limited services in these rural areas.
If you have been living in Goa for some time then you will understand that there are many villages where only a limited number of buses ply, all private operators, not Kadamba ones. In some places buses come so infrequently that people sometimes have to wait maybe a couple of hours.
Goa has more private buses than Kadamba buses operated by the Kadamba State Corporation Limited, which means more people travel by private buses and in the village areas where only private buses serve, there are more beneficiaries compared to the urban areas. So if the private buses are also not brought under the same rule, how will the real benefits be felt by senior citizens?
Local buses are used by people from rural areas compared to urban folk who are more middle class and have their own conveyance of travel. Kadamba buses are more active on the major routes in Goa than the interior villages where only private buses ply. Under such circumstances, how are senior citizens supposed to reap the benefits?
The news report was published by the national daily, the Times of India wherein it says that senior citizens in Goa traveling by the Kadamba Transport Corporation’s (KTC) interstate buses will now pay only half of the bus tariff.
“The State Transport Authority (STA) has approved the demand of senior citizens to get 50% concession in KTC’s intrastate bus service,” minister for transport, Sudin Dhavalikar said on Thursday.
A group of activists reportedly citing examples of Karnataka and Maharashtra, had written to the minister for social welfare, Mr Milind Naik, and the KTC requesting to allow a concession of 50 percent on the bus tariffs for the senior citizens in Goa.
According to the Times of India, Ghate, a National RTI awardee, stated in his letter that “The actual burden on KTC’s fare collection due to such concessions will be quite meagre.”
The official order on the implementation of the concession will be issued soon. The website of KTC states that senior citizens are provided with a 50% concession on intrastate routes on the production of an identity card issued by the Social Welfare Department.
It is a very good move from the side of the Transport Department but if the same gets extended to private buses, only then will the real benefits be given to the genuinely needy people of Goa. What are your views on this?