HC seeks BMTC response on Volvo passes

HC seeks BMTC response on Volvo passes

The Karnataka High Court asked the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) to submit its response while hearing a petition challenging a circular issued by the BMTC that states that free passes for Volvo buses will no longer be granted to persons suffering from blindness.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari was hearing a public interest litigation filed by the National Federation of the Blind that moved the court seeking directions to the authorities to issue a fresh circular granting the facility of free bus passes to persons suffering from complete blindness for all buses in the state including the Vajra ( Volvo) buses.

The petitioner contended that the circular is contrary to the policy instituted by the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation wherein several types of free bus passes had been made available for persons suffering from blindness in Karnataka.

Furthermore, a corrigendum was issued that stated that people with a locomotor disability having disability concession passes and blind pass holders holding the free blind pass and having total blindness are given the opportunity for travelling in Vajra buses.

The petitioner stated that the decision of the BMTC to withdraw the facility of a free bus pass for persons with disabilities without any valid reason is arbitrary in nature.

The petitioner further contended that Section 41 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act states that the government shall develop schemes to promote the mobility of persons with disabilities at an affordable cost and should provide incentives and concessions.

The concession for issuing free bus passes to persons with total visual impairment was made under the section and thus there is no rationale to withdraw the facility for Volvo buses.

The petitioner also sought the facility of free bus passes to be extended to persons suffering from at least 40% blindness and benchmark disabilities.