D.N.I.S. News Network, India: Disability Rights Alliance (D.R.A.), Tamil Nadu, has been in consultation with Chennai Metro Rail Limited (C.M.R.L.) since January 2012 to ensure that a barrier-free environment is kept in consideration in the planning stage itself of the metro rail. “These are not facilities that can be provided in retrospect. You have to take them into consideration well in advance,” said Rajiv Rajan, member of D.R.A.
D.R.A. has shared the details of international best practices with C.M.R.L. in a series of meetings since January. In the last meeting, the members presented inputs on the shortcomings of Delhi Metro to K. Rajaraman, Managing Director, C.M.R.L. The data presented to C.M.R.L. in the past three months include guidelines on making official websites accessible to persons with visual and reading disabilities, guidelines on making metro stations barrier-free and a legal perspective to accessibility in public spaces.
C.M.R.L. has said that it is committed to making stations barrier-free and is going by the international standards. Certain recommendations by D.R.A. are not covered by international standards and C.M.R.L. would have to spend time studying them to see how feasible they are, said Rajaraman.