The high court bench refused to agree with the government's submission that 10 per cent of the buses have to be disabled-friendly.
New Delhi: The Delhi high court has rapped the AAP government for “not taking a single step for ensuring accessible transport to disabled people in the capital and restrained it from procuring standard-floor buses as it impedes their mobility.
A bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar observed that the government and the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) were treating the disabled as “non-existent”.
The court also made it clear that it was passing an interim order and it would take a final view on the matter after hearing all parties.
“Procuring buses, which are inaccessible to the disabled infracts the mandate of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 and the imperative and repeated SC directions not only is impermissible, but reflects the apathy and indifference to environmental degradation. It is an infringement of rights of Delhiites under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, to a clean and healthy environment,” the bench said.
It refused to agree with the government’s submission that 10 per cent of the buses have to be disabled-friendly and said it shows that “they are bent upon treating the disabled as non-existent., or, in any case not having any rights.
“The respondents have not even conceptualised, let alone, bothered to take a single step toward ensuring accessible transport in Delhi. This submission shows the reluctance of the respondents to acquire accessible transport,” the HC said.
It said the government’s decision to go ahead for standard floor buses was in violation of the “harmonious norms and space standards for barrier-free built environment for people with disabilities and the aged” and also violates the right to the residents’ road safety.
“The move to press ahead for the buses rests on the consideration that since 2011, no public bus tender has been awarded by the government, reflects its lack of concern for people with disabilities”.