Volume 4 Issue 2 - January 15, 2006

Government of India to make access features mandatory for state & inter-state buses

D.N.I.S. News Network- In a landmark move that could revolutionize the passenger bus travel across India, the Union Transport Ministry, in consultation with the State Transport Ministers, has prepared a notification that would require city and inter-state buses, run by private operators and state-owned companies, to meet minimum safety and comfort standards, including providing access to disabled people, before being given a permit to ply on the road.

For millions of disabled people, the notification would mean a deeper penetration of the idea of access and universal design besides allowing dignified travel by the most used mode of transport that has up to now remained relatively untouched. Thus fulfills one of the demands of the disability movement for implementing provisions of the decade-old Disability Act, which calls for non-discrimination by mandating the re-designing of public buildings, rail compartments, buses and aircrafts among other things.

The guidelines, which would be issued under the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, would also create accreditation boards both at the national and regional level that would certify buses that meet the new norms. As many as 50,000 new buses hit the Indian roads each year.

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