New Delhi, Apr 2 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today disapproved of the AAP government’s decision to issue a request for proposal (RFP) for 1,000 standard floor buses on the grounds that they were neither disabled friendly, nor easily accessible by the aged and the children.
A 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 procure 1,000 electric low floor buses as the tender is proposed to be issued in June and the supply of vehicles will be after March 31 next year.
“We do not know how you are going ahead with such tenders when the law (with regard to disadvantaged groups) is to the contrary,” the court said while hearing a PIL by Nipun Malhotra challenging the Delhi government’s decision of last year to procure 2,000 standard -floor buses at a cost of Rs 300 crore.
Malhotra, who suffers from a locomotor disability, in an affidavit has said that as per the 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 submitted 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 Malhotra and listed the matter for further hearing on April 16.
Meanwhile, advocate Aman Panwar, appearing for Congress leader Ajay Maken, told the court that the standard floor buses were not only unsafe, but were not easily accessible by elderly persons as well as small children.
Maken has also moved a plea opposing the Delhi government’s proposal to procure standard floor buses.
The bench had on the last date asked the AAP government not to go ahead with its tender to purchase standard floor buses for the national capital, saying it would not allow the procurement as it would lead to the violation of the fundamental rights of disabled persons who would find it difficult to access such vehicles.
The Centre had recently told the court, in an affidavit, that less than 10 per cent of the over 1.3 lakh buses run by state road transport undertakings have been found to be disabled friendly.
It had also stated, in the affidavit, that by March this year only 10 per cent government-owned public transport needed to be accessible to disabled persons.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.