The tender is proposed to be issued in June and the supply of vehicles will be after March 31 next year.
New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Monday disapproved of the AAP government’s decision to issue a request for proposal (RFP) of 1,000 standard floor buses on the grounds that they were neither disabled-friendly, nor accessible by the aged and children.
A two-judge bench of acting chief justice Gita Mittal and justice C. Hari Shankar also did not approve of the time line given by the Delhi government’s transport department to purchase 1,000 electric low floor buses, the tender is proposed to be issued in June and the supply of vehicles will be after March 31 next year.
While hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) by Nipun Malhotra, who suffers from a locomotor disability, challenging the Delhi government’s decision of last year to procure 2,000 standard floor buses at a cost of Rs 300 crore, the court said: “We don’t know how you are going ahead with such tenders when the law (with regard to disadvantaged groups) is to the contrary.”
Mr Malhotra in an affidavit has said that as per Delhi Transport Corporation’s (DTC) own data, low floor buses were safer than the standard floor ones. The affidavit, filed through advocate Jai Dehadrai, also claimed that the low floor buses were more efficient.
The petitioner has stated that the transport department on February 28 had issued a fresh RFP for 1,000 standard floor buses, despite the high court asking it earlier not to take such a decision.
The bench, thereafter, asked the transport department to file its response to the affidavit by Ms Malhotra and listed the matter for further hearing on April 16.
Advocate A. Panwar, appearing for city Congress chief Ajay Maken, told the court the standard floor buses were not only unsafe, but were not accessible by elderly persons and kids. He moved a plea opposing the Delhi government’s proposal to buy standard floor buses.
The bench had asked the government not to go ahead with its tender to buy standard floor buses for Delhi, saying it wouldn’t allow the procurement as it would lead to violation of the fundamental rights of disabled.