HC pulls up TNSTC over disabled-friendly buses

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HC pulls up TNSTC over disabled-friendly buses
Appearing for the TNSTC, advocate Rita Chandrasekar submitted that such low-floor buses cannot be operated in Chennai due to bad road conditions and financial crunch.

Published: 13th October 2020 03:44 AM | Last Updated: 13th October 2020 03:44 AM | A+A A-
Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation Image of a TNSTC bus used for representational purpose (File Photo | Nakshatra Krishnamoorthy/EPS) By Express News Service
CHENNAI: Madras High Court on Monday ordered for the appearance of Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary and Transport Department Secretary to explain about the continuous violation of its 2016 order that mandates the State transport corporation (TNSTC) to procure only low-floor, disabled-friendly buses.

The issue pertains to a batch of Public Interest Litigation (PILs) petitions seeking appropriate facilities for persons with disabilities for accessing the public transport. T Mohan, an amicus curiae, submitted to the two-member bench of Justices M Sathyanarayanan and R Hemalatha on Monday that since 2017, the State Transport Corporation has procured 4,817 new buses which are not disabled-friendly, in complete violation of the court order. Noting the violation, the High Court bench observed that, “It has been a decade since these petitions were filed but nothing fruitful has been done. Enough is enough, let the officers appear before the court and explain.”

The bench, emphasising on Section 41 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, said the provision mandates the government to establish facilities for persons with disabilities at bus stops, railway stations and airports conforming to the accessibility standards relating to parking spaces, toilets, and ticketing counters. Appearing for the TNSTC, advocate Rita Chandrasekar submitted that such low-floor buses cannot be operated in Chennai due to bad road conditions and financial crunch.

“The corporation has to improve the road conditions first. Also, the disabled-friendly buses cost double the cost of the normal buses,” she added. However, she said that the transport corporation, was trying buses fitted with hydraulic lifts on a pilot basis in selected routes. The bench, recording the submissions directed the secretaries to appear before it. The court adjourned the plea to December 10.

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