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Activists irked as MTC asks diff-abled to renew pass

The Metropolitan Transport Corporation announced on Saturday that the differently-abled persons could get free bus passes from the district rehabilitation officer concerned even as the director of the Department of Welfare of Persons with Disabilities asked the Transport Secretary to allow the use of the same pass issued last year.

Activists irked as MTC asks diff-abled to renew pass


In a statement, MTC Managing Director K Ganesan said free passes are usually distributed to differently-abled persons from April 1 to March 31. This year, to help them avoid an unnecessary visit to the MTC headquarters, it has been arranged to get their passes at the district rehabilitation officer office itself, he said.

“Earlier, they had to get the form from district rehabilitation office, get the certificate from the officer and submit to the MTC headquarters for the free pass. Now they need not visit the MTC office at all and can get the pass from the district office itself,” he said.

This year, 2,056 renewed passes would be distributed through the Department of Welfare of Persons with Disabilities at KK Nagar and Tiruvallur. “Remaining would be soon dispatched to the offices concerned,” he said.

Though the statement from the State-run corporation portrayed the decision as one taken in the interest of those with disabilities, activists representing them are far from happy, as the new direction was issued despite the request from the Department of Welfare of Persons with Disabilities to extend the validity of the passes issued last year.

Johnny Tom Varghese, Director, Department of Welfare of Persons with Disabilities, had written to the Transport Secretary on September 3, seeking permission to allow the disabled persons to use the card issued last year. “It is shocking that the MTC asked them to go to the district rehabilitation offices,” said S Namburajan, general secretary of Tamil Nadu Association for the Rights of All Types of Differently Abled and Caregivers (TARATDAC).

In the letter, Varghese had said the validity of the passes was already extended till August. “With the resumption of public transportation, the validity should be extended by another four months and they should be allowed to use the last year’s pass. The differently-abled persons should be allowed to travel without any hindrance using the old pass,” he had said in the letter.

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