The Madras High Court has passed a slew of directions to make public transport disabled friendly in the State.

The bench of Acting Chief Justice T Raja and Justice D.Bharatha Chakravarthy passed the directions on a plea challenging the tender floated by the Tamil Nadu state and the Institute of Road Transport, Chennai, for procurement of 1107 high floor buses.

The petitioners pointed out that differently-abled persons and senior citizens won’t be able to use public transport if these high floor buses are permitted to be procured. Advocate A.Yogeshwaran appeared for the petitioner and Senior Counsel P.S.Raman appeared for Resondent.

The Court directed to only procure 950 high-floor buses instead of 1107. The Court also directed to issue a fresh tender to procure 157 low-floor buses. The Court further said that the procurement of the 342 low-floor buses both electric and diesel shall also be processed and expedited, so that the said fleet are also in place simultaneously with these high floor buses.

The Court also directed transport corporations in the city of Chennai and other cities to form a committee of officials, one from the Transport Department, one from the Institute of Road Transport, one from the respective Metropolitan Transport Corporation and one representative from the differently-abled organisations, to decide upon the routes in which these low floor buses shall be plied, their timings, etc.

“In respect of each metropolitan city of Chennai, Coimbatore, Trichy, Madurai etc. mobile applications shall also be developed which, in real time, should indicate the movement of these low floor buses for the differently-abled persons to come to the bus stop and board the buses by properly planning their time”, the Court directed also.

The Court directed that the bus stops should be scientifically designed to suit the requirements of the differently-abled and that special training should be imparted to the drivers and conductors of low-floor buses, firstly to be patient enough to stop the bus and assist the persons who are differently-abled/wheel chair bound commuters to get in and alight.

The Court directed to circulate these directions to all the automobile manufacturers and to such organisations, to create awareness that there will be market only for the low floor buses in future.

Cause Title- Vaishnavi Jayakumar v. The State of Tamil Nadu

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