NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has directed the central and state governments to come up with a timeline to make all Government and private buses disabled friendly in the next three months. In a series of directions, the SC has asked the Centre and states to ensure “10% of government owned public transport carriers are to be made fully accessible by March 2018” while hearing a case filed by one Rajive Raturi, a Gurgaon-based visually challenged person.
Referring to Section 41 of the Disabilities Act, 2016, which provides for comprehensive accessibility in all modes of transport, the court has observed, “Therefore, it becomes the duty of the Union, States as well as UTs to ensure that all government buses are disabled friendly in accordance with the harmonised guidelines. Likewise, the respondents are duty bound to see that private buses also become disabled friendly. Thus, we direct the government to lay down the plan giving the dates by which the aforesaid task shall be undertaken, keeping in view the directions which are sought by the petitioner in this behalf and the same shall be filed within three months.”
The central law specifies that the service providers whether government or private shall provide services in accordance with the rules on accessibility formulated by the central government within two years from the date of notification of the rules.
The rules were notified in 2017. The road transport ministry had told the court that mostly the passenger bus transportation is in the domain of state governments and it would be appropriate to direct them to comply with the provisions.
Raturi, in his petition, had demanded a number of actions including installation of auditory signals at every traffic light, construction of zebra crossings at a slight incline, providing for unobstructed footpaths with minimum hindrances for obstacle-free walking areas. He had also sought providing efficient audio announcement system in all modes of mass public transport, providing for bus stops to have route maps and schedules in Braille, which is placed at eye-level.
Source : timesofindia