Amid criticism, the Vellore Corporation will stick to its original plan of alloting one shop each for persons with disabilities, trangenders, Aavin and Tantea at the recently opened bus terminus in Vellore.
The Corporation’s plan has come at a time when persons with disabilities have criticised the civic body’s move in allotting only one shop for persons with disabilities as against the five per cent of reservation in such public allotment that has been outlined under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPwD) Act 2016. “We are going by the rule book. Such allotment of shops is also being done for transgenders as part of inclusive growth. We will stick to the one-shop policy,” P. Ashok Kumar, Commissioner, Vellore City Corporation, told The Hindu. Officials said that the Act refers to the five per cent reservation for persons with disabilities mainly related to government recruitment. The Act does not make it mandatory for urban local bodies (ULBs) to make such reservations on revenue generating ventures like shops in public places. In such income based ventures, the ULBs were mandated to follow a government order (G.O) of 2000 that stipulates one shop for persons with disabilities.
Of 83 shops in the new terminus, the State Express Transport Corporation (SETC), Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) will get one shop each with 380 sq.ft (SETC) and 100 sq.ft respectively. Shop number 16 has been allotted for persons with disabilities in the new terminus. The minimum size of a shop is 100 sq.ft. Bigger shops with 540 sq, 800 sq.ft, 1,200 sq.ft and 1,600 sq.ft are also available.
Initially, the Corporation planned to hold a public auction on August 3. However, the auctioning has been postponed to August 15, citing “administrative reasons” after the association for persons with disabilities raised the allotment issue a few days ago. “We want the Chief Minister, who holds the portfolio of differently abled welfare, to intervene on the issue,” said T. Anbazhagan, State Secretary, Vellore Matruthiranaligal Nala Sangam.