EPS blames TN govt for discontinuing free-bus service; minister, collector respondsAIADMK leader Edappadi K Palaniswami.
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AIADMK government have disbursed crores of rupees to the department. DMK has not even purchased any new buses in the past 24 months, EPS said.

TENKASI:  Commenting on Tenkasi collector’s statement that bus service in rural areas have been suspended after the transport department suffered the loss of revenue due to the free scheme for women, AIADMK general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami said the state government should compensate for the loss.

“AIADMK government have disbursed crores of rupees to the department. DMK has not even purchased any new buses in the past 24 months. Minister K Ponmudy has mocked the beneficiaries of the fare-free service. New mofussil buses must be bought to benefit women,” he added.

Refuting the allegations, transport minister SS Sivasankar said the government has not discontinued any bus service. “4,300 new buses will be bought, following which recruitment of drivers and conductors will take place. AIADMK discontinued bus services in 2,000 routes when it was in power. Vadiyur villagers in Tenkasi had demanded Ravichandran to restore one such bus service. Without knowing this in detail, the collector gave an explanation to the villagers. However, the chief minister has ordered the restoration of the particular bus service to Tenkasi from Saturday onwards,” he added.

Sivasankar further said the government has sanctioned Rs 1,216 crore in 2021-22, Rs 2,546 crore in 2022-23 and Rs 2,800 crore in 2023-24 for the scheme, offering 277.13 crore rides so far. We also allocated another Rs 1,000 crore to purchase 2,000 new buses and repair 1,500 old buses,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile, Collector Ravichandran told media in Tenkasi that his speech during the grama sabha meeting in Vadiyur panchayat was misinterpreted.

“About 74 of 80 mofussil buses across Tenkasi district are providing fare-free service to women. After its implementation, women in Tenkasi have availed more than 2.89 crore free rides. The state government is compensating the loss of TNSTC by paying Rs 16 against each women beneficiary,” he added.

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