Plea seeks ban on goods vehicles ferrying people

Plea seeks ban on goods vehicles ferrying people

Villagers board a goods autorickshaw at Vadesamudra village, in Pandavapur taluk, Mandya district, on Sunday.

The high court has ordered four top officials to be present at the next hearing of a petition that highlights the dangers of ferrying people by crowded passenger vehicles and good carriers. 

The petition has been filed by the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority (KLSA) and urges the court to order the state government to take necessary action to stop the use of goods vehicles for the transport of people from one place to another. 

The court has ordered labour, transport and BBMP commissioners, as well as a senior police officer, to be present at the next hearing. 

The petitioner flagged serious dangers to the lives of women, children and workers transported through overcrowded good vehicles and asserted that such practices are prevalent in all districts of the state. 

According to the KLSA, several district legal services authorities had compiled the photographs of women, workers and children being transported by overcrowded goods carriers and TomToms in different parts of the state. 

In Bengaluru, it’s common to see construction workers stuffed into lorries and smaller trucks and ferried to construction sites. The workers are forced to travel in this manner because public transport is both inaccessible and unaffordable. 

The petitioner argued that the failure to provide adequate and affordable public transport violates the fundamental right to life and movement guaranteed under Articles 21 and 19 (1) (g) of the Constitution. 

The KLSA urged the court to order the government to ensure adequate, affordable and safe public transport to children, women workers and other vulnerable sections of society across the state. It also sought the constitution of a committee of experts and officials to frame a state-wide policy on safe, accessible and affordable transport.