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DTC, AAP govt assures HC that contract for standard floor buses will not be awarded

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Transport Corporation (DTC) and the today assured the here that no contract for standard floor buses would be awarded till May 23, in the backdrop of objections that they were not disabled-friendly.

The assurance was given as a bench of Acting and Justice C appeared inclined to stay the entire tender floated on March 15 for procurement of 1,000 standard floor buses (SFBs).

The court was of the view that exclusion of disabled persons from accessing public transport was "glaring on the face of it" as the SFBs were not easily accessible by handicapped persons and the elderly.

Taking note of the views of the bench, the DTC and the government assured it that the contract under the tender, which was opened on May 10, would not be awarded till the next date of hearing on May 23.

The court said that DTC and the government would be bound by the statement.

The order came on a fresh PIL moved by Nipun Malhotra seeking setting aside of the March 15 tender.

Jai Dehadrai, appearing for Malhotra, said the tender was in violation of earlier orders of the court as well as undertakings given by DTC to not go ahead with procurement of SFBs.

The said that the DTC and the government were going ahead with the procurement despite agreeing that low floor buses (LFBs) were more safer and efficient than SFBs.

DTC on the other hand, in an affidavit, has said only the older SFBs were unsafe and inefficient in comparison to the LFBs and the new ones it was going to procure would be as proper as the LFBs.

However, the new SFBs would not be able to cater to people on wheelchairs, the transport corporation has admitted in its affidavit.

Meanwhile, Aman Panwar, appearing for Ajay Maken, told the court that the proposed procurement was also in violation of a specification that public transport buses in need to have

Malhotra, in his fresh PIL, has contended that by issuing the tender to procure 1,000 SFBs, DTC and the have "completely failed to take into account the issues which would be faced by the disabled and elderly population, when it comes to basic access to public transport".

"It is stated there is no rationale for the sustained procurement of non-disabled friendly high buses, which are fundamentally inaccessible for the disabled population and, in extension, children and the elderly population," the petition said.

Malhotra, who suffers from a locomotor disability, has in an earlier petition challenged the Delhi government's decision of last year to procure 2,000 SFBs at a cost of Rs 300 crore.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, May 14 2018. 19:20 IST