The Nagaland State Transport Department has notified that Section 41 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, provides access to transportation facilities at bus stops, railway stations, and airports, conforming to the accessibility standards relating to parking spaces, toilets, ticketing counters, and ticketing machines for persons with disabilities (PwDs) with long-term physical, mental, intellectual, or sensory impairments which, in interaction with barriers, hinder their full and effective participation in society equally with others.

Additionally, to provide incentives and concessions for the mobility of PwDs, modalities have been notified to extend free travel facilities in the Nagaland State Transport (NST) passenger buses for PwDs within the state of Nagaland.

The Transport Department informed that for the identification of Persons with Benchmark Disabilities (PwBDs) to avail of free travel facilities in NST, a Unique Disability Identity (UDID) Card issued by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, or a valid disability certificate issued by a competent Authorized Medical Board, shall be a prerequisite for eligibility.

A free travel pass will be issued from the Office of the General Manager, NST, Nagaland, Dimapur, on payment of Rs 50, renewable after two years against payment of Rs 20.

In case of any damage or loss, a new free travel pass shall be issued on payment of Rs 50. Applicants may submit their applications directly to the Office of the General Manager, NST, Nagaland, Dimapur, or through the District NST Office.

Companions, if any, of the PwBDs shall have to pay the full fare against prior reservation to occupy a seat next to the PwBDs. However, for a PwBD with 80% or more disabilities or multiple disabilities who require assistance, a free travel facility will be allowed for one associate/assistant.

It was also informed that the free travel facility for PwDs is permissible for both to and from journeys, including break journeys, or from the originating to the terminating station, which shall be considered as the completion of one stretch of the journey. The free travel facility shall be limited to 4 (four) seats in a particular bus in the open space behind the driver’s seat in the first and second rows. The seats shall be reserved and marked accordingly.

For availing of the facilities, a request in advance or at least one day ahead of departure of the bus shall be preferred, subject to the availability of seats for that purpose. This free travel facility shall be non-transferable, and any imposters detected shall be liable to prosecution. Any pass that is misused shall be canceled, the Department added.

The notification is issued with the concurrence of the Finance Department and supersedes the Transport Department’s notification dated 15 January 1989.

(Source: DIPR)


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