Accessibility December 18, 2020
All public buses in Goa to be made accessible for disabled people & elderly
Goa, India’s smallest state, is taking a big step towards promoting accessible travel. The state government has issued a circular that all public buses in the state must be made accessible as per the Ministry of Road Transport guidelines.
Now there’s yet another reason to visit one of India’s most popular states.
The Deputy Director, Transport, Government of Goa, has issued a circular that all public buses in the state must be made accessible for people with disabilities and the elderly.
This follows a letter from the Disability Rights Association of Goa (DRAG) asking the Goa Transport Department to make public buses accessible as per the modified Motor Vehicles Act rules issued by the Ministry of Road Transport.
The Deputy Director has also asked for a compliance report to be furnished within 14 days of the order.
We welcome this step taken by the state transport department. There are no accessible buses in Goa and this order will pave the way towards changing that. We had written to the Goa Government to implement the Ministry of Road Transport order and they have responded with this circular. – Avelino D’Sa, President, Disability Rights Association of Goa
Lack of accessibility of public transport has been a major issue for people with disabilities in India. Despite many petitions, court orders and appeals, public buses remain out of reach for wheelchair users.
A new policy drafted by the Ministry of Road Transport came out with concrete measures to make public transport accessible for people with disabilities. However most states have been slow to implement this.
Just last week the Madras High Court had slammed the Tamil Nadu State Transport Department for failing to provide disabled friendly buses. The court had said it would initiate contempt proceedings if the department does not address problem faced by people with disabilities.
By taking this step, the government of Goa will hopefully pave the way for other states hopes Mr D’Sa. “Disability rights groups across India must take the cue and push for the implementation of the Ministry guidelines”.
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