Visually challenged- people find it difficult to travel in the BMTC buses.
Visually challenged people said that they often end up in missing their stops as there are no audio announcement provisions in the Bangaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses and also lack of assistance by the people.
Mr. Manav Prakash a visually disabled person shared his experience. “Three months back when I was travelling to Kengeri, they didn’t inform me about the stop where I wanted to get down nor the audio announcement was working. I got down at Bidadi. I had to travel back from Bidadi to Kengeri.”
According to the data provided by the BMTC, out of 5552 buses, 882 buses do not have the audio announcement facilities. The conductors also said that the buses which have this voice announcement system do not work as the wires are nibbled by rats, the antennas are been spoiled or sometimes it also provides delayed announcement. Mr. Dayanand the depot manager working for BMTC shared that the annual maintenance contracts of many buses have expired. As a result, the audio announcement is not repaired.
Mr. Dayanand also said, “For many of the older buses the AMC is expired. The AMC is usually taken for three to four years. Since it has expired the renewal of AMC is not possible.”
According to the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, all modes of public transport should be made accessible for the disabled. Visually challenged are not provided with the seats which are reserved for them and also sometimes denied entry into buses.
Officials of National Association for Blind (NAB) said that the buses should be made more disabled friendly and made more accessible to them which will help them to travel independently. Miss Mitra V, a teacher at the NAB suggested that “There should be Braille embossed in the buses which will be very useful for the visually challenged people. Through Braille they can comfortably read the bus name and with the help of audio they can listen to the stop name and get down comfortably.”
Experts also said that there should be an audio announcement which gives the details of the buses. This will help the visually impaired people to locate their destinations easily.