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Karnataka: Only 6.6% of inter-city, rural buses accessible for differently-abled

The KSRTC stated that only 1.23% of its 8,202 buses were accessible, while KKRTC said 5% of its 4,714 buses were accessible
Last Updated : 02 August 2022, 02:27 IST
Last Updated : 02 August 2022, 02:27 IST
Last Updated : 02 August 2022, 02:27 IST
Last Updated : 02 August 2022, 02:27 IST

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Three years after the expiry of the deadline to make public transport buses accessible to people with different abilities, only 6.6% of the 17,996 buses providing suburban bus services have been reported to be disabled-friendly.

Under the Accessible India Campaign, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (Morth) had advised the state governments in 2017 to adopt measures to make 25% of the government-owned public transport carriers fully accessible by March 2019.

As per the comprehensive guidelines provided by Morth, accessible buses should have foldable ramp installed in the doorway and provide space for wheelchairs inside, identified by standard symbols.

Audio visual announcements should be provided, especially in the city buses, for the benefit of such passengers.

As per the data tabled in the Rajya Sabha, the BMTC has claimed that all its 6,664 buses are accessible, but the three other corporations reported poor compliance.

The KSRTC stated that only 1.23% of its 8,202 buses were accessible, while KKRTC said 5% of its 4,714 buses were accessible.

In comparison, the NWKRTC fared better as it reported 16% of its 5,080 buses were accessible.

An official in the transport department said even the BMTC was not “fully” accessible.

“It is mainly because of the low-floors adopted in the buses that the BMTC is claiming 100% compliance. Even then, the floors of the ordinary buses are considerably high compared with the Volvo buses. Moreover, the ordinary buses do not have ramps,” he said.

KSRTC managing director V Anbukumar said the corporation was focussing on adopting the measures in the new buses.

“The 50 electric buses we are procuring have high level of safety features that cater to the differently abled. However, a majority of the existing fleet is comprised of the ordinary diesel vehicles, which are not suitable for modifications,” he said.

Noting that providing transport service in suburban and rural areas with low-floor buses requires better quality roads, he said it is a team work which will be taken up with everybody’s cooperation.

Transport department secretary N V Prasad said he will look into the matter.

“Some of the work was delayed due to the pandemic. We will take up the matter with the RTCs concerned to ensure the targets are reached,” he said.

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Published 01 August 2022, 16:41 IST

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