To help people with HIV/AIDS, the Delhi government is working on modalities to grant travel concessions for those who visit any of the 11 Anti Retroviral Treatment (ART) centres in the capital.
This was disclosed in an affidavit before a Delhi High Court bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao, which in September last year had directed the government to consider if travel passes/cards can be granted to such people.
Delhi government additional standing counsel Gautam Narayan said, “In a meeting held under chairmanship of Chief Secretary, Delhi, on January 2, 2019, it was decided to work out the modalities in consultation with DTC/ transport department for payment of a fixed amount to cover the fare for scheduled visits to ART centres in Delhi by PLHIV, in the form of topping of Common Mobility Cards for beneficiaries and seeking approval of competent authority for the financial grant.”
The issue of granting travel concessions to AIDS patients had come up during hearing of a PIL initiated by the HC after it received a letter from an AIDS victim, seeking enhancement of the Rs 1,000 pension given to him.
The court had appointed advocate Ajay Verma as an amicus to assist them in the matter. He apprised the bench that Tamil Nadu and Karnataka provide free travel passes to such persons, while Kerala and Gujarat had several schemes, including access to subsidised food.
On the court’s direction to have a system that would automatically release pension to such people, just like various subsidies are transferred to bank accounts, the affidavit said the “benefit of Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS) is conditional and being provided only on regular visit to ATR centre…”
It further stated that FAS benefits are released quarterly based on a certificate issued by the nodal officer of the ART centre concerned.