Mira-Bhayandar: More than one lakh physically challenged commuters have benefited from the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation’s (MBMC) free bus travel scheme in seven months from April to October, this year. Visually impaired and physically challenged commuters (with 40 percent disability and above) can avail of the free travel benefit scheme which was rolled out in the year 2021 on the virtue of a resolution passed by the erstwhile general body on May 19, 2021.
As per official statistics sourced out from the public transport authority a total of 46,903 and 1,34,803 commuters availed the facility in 2021 and 2022 respectively. This year as many as 1,01,508 commuters benefited in the first seven months of the current fiscal from April to October.
Free bus travel initiative
The free travel initiative cost the civic body ₹5,24,018, ₹14,46,994 and ₹10,47,535 in 2021, 2022, and 2023 respectively. While the collective number of travellers who availed of the facility since the beginning of the scheme stands at 2,83,214 the public transport authority had to sacrifice a total of ₹30,18, 547 by implementing the much-needed initiative for the physically challenged.
'A small gesture of appreciation'
“This is a small gesture of appreciation from our side to assure the physically challenged people that the civic administration will always stand by them. Apart from the free bus travel initiative, monetary assistance, and pension plans, we are committed to creating a robust policy framework and an effective delivery system for differently-abled citizens” said civic chief Sanjay Shripatrao Katkar.
A month ahead of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) which is observed across the world every year on 3 December, the social welfare development department attached to the MBMC had handed over pensions to 1,065 physically challenged and educational scholarships to 39 students with disabilities before time for the current fiscal. As per records 2,699 physically challenged persons are registered with the civic body which has set aside a budgetary allocation amounting ₹1.75 crore to implement various welfare oriented schemes.