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MTC readying buses for differently-abled

Sandhya Soman

One model has hydraulic lift, the other an electric lift



Caption EFFORT TOWARDS ACCESSIBILITY: One of the buses remodelled by the MTC to help differently-abled commuters — Photo: K. Pichumani

CHENNAI: The Metropolitan Transport Corporation is readying two models of buses equipped with lifts to help differently-abled commuters using wheel chairs.

One of the two low floor buses has been fitted with a hydraulic lift near the middle. At the press of a button, the pneumatic door will slide open to permit the commuter to move into the lift.

The other model has an electric lift, the controls of which would be near the driver's seat. Here the lift would be at the front entrance, MTC officials said.

The Corporation started work for designing disabled-friendly buses following a Madras High Court order in June 2005 to ensure a barrier-free environment for disabled by coming up with an alternative design. It passed the order on a public interest litigation petition from Rajiv Ranjan, a person affected with cerebral palsy.

However, the court considered the first model prepared by the MTC not "feasible" in April 2006.

Escalating platform

The lift was fitted onto an escalating platform and the bus used was of the regular height. Now the Corporation has opted for low-floor buses, a point emphasised by the court earlier. It has also provided alternate doors in both models for other passengers to get in.

According to officials, the fixing of lifts cost around Rs. 1 lakh per bus.

MTC will be able to finalise the model and specifications only after court approval.

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