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  Metros   Delhi  31 May 2018  Delhi HC asks govt by when buses would be disabled-friendly

Delhi HC asks govt by when buses would be disabled-friendly

Published : May 31, 2018, 4:44 am IST
Updated : May 31, 2018, 4:44 am IST

Seeks timeline on necessary repairs of roads in rural Delhi.

Justice Gita Mittal
 Justice Gita Mittal

New Delhi: The Delhi high court today asked the AAP government and the Delhi Transport Corporation to state on an affidavit the time they would take to ensure that the fleet of buses as well as bus stops in the national capital are disabled-friendly.

A bench, comprising acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar, also asked the government to submit a timeline, on an affidavit, on necessary repairs and renovation of the roads in rural Delhi to ensure plying of disabled-friendly low floor buses.

The court said that once the affidavits as directed by it are filed, it might consider allowing the Delhi government to go ahead with its tender process to procure 2,000 standard floor buses (SFBs).

The Delhi government told the court that the SFBs would ply in rural areas as the roads there are not good to allow operating of low floor buses (LFBs).

The court asked for the timelines from the Delhi government while hearing two PILs moved by Nipun Malhotra, who suffers from a locomotor disability, challenging the tenders for SFBs.

Advocate Jai Dehadrai, appearing for Malhotra, told the bench that disabled people live in rural areas as well and permitting procurement of SFBs would exclude them from access to public transport. He said such a move would be unconstitutional.

The lawyer also said that the Delhi government cannot take the stand that SFBs are required as the roads in rural areas are bad.

The bench also said that presently, even with LFBs, the bus stops are not equipped to allow disabled persons, especially those on wheelchairs.

It said it will ensure that in the long run everything that was not disabled friendly was phased out. The court directed the Delhi government and the DTC to file the time lines by June 1, the next date of hearing.

In his first PIL, Malhotra challenged the Delhi government’s decision of last year to procure 2,000 SFBs at a cost of Rs 300 crore.

Thereafter, he moved a second PIL against a second tender floated in March this year by the DTC and the Delhi government to procure 1,000 SFBs.
In his fresh plea, he has contended that the authorities have “completely failed to take into account the issues which would be faced by the disabled and elderly population, when it comes to basic access to public transport”.

Tags: nipun malhotra, affidavits, disabled-friendly