Women Cannot Be Denied As First Passenger To Enter Buses, Rules STA

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The owner or conductor of buses operating on various routes around the state may no longer refuse any lady as the first passenger to board the vehicle. Violations will result in a penalty. Today, the State Transport Authority (STA) of Odisha sent a letter to all Regional Transport Officers (RTOs) in this regard.

“Permits are granted by STA / RTA to stage carriages on various routes to carry passengers in exchange for payment of bus fare as notified by this office.” The owner or operator of a stage carriage cannot deny any lady the privilege of becoming the first passenger to board buses. “Any deviation shall constitute a violation of permit conditions and shall be punishable under Section 192A of the M.V. Act, 1988,” states the STA letter. The STA sent the letter after social activist Ghasiram Panda filed a petition with the Odisha State Commission for Women saying that women are not permitted to be the first passengers on buses.

The STA has asked RTOs to undertake frequent checks on stage carriages and, if it is discovered that the owner/conductor of a stage carriage is refusing women as the first passenger to join a bus, to draft an e-challan against the owner of said vehicle under Section 192A of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988.

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