D.N.I.S. News Network, India: Indian railways is planning to make 1500 stations disabled friendly, senior officials of the Railway Ministry said. Railways have nearly 7000 stations in 16 zones.
Special facilities like access ramps, reserved parking lots, low height water taps and toilets for disabled people will be developed in phases at important stations.
“The decision in this regard has been taken by the Railway Board. We have earmarked 1560 stations for the purpose and the work at all these B category stations - most of them in State capitals and important cities and will be completed by 2010,”said a senior official.
Non slippery side walks and special signage for the visually impaired will also be put up at the stations. ‘May I help you booths' will be put up especially to guide and assist them in need, the official added.
A1 and A category stations like Delhi, Mumbai, Howrah, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad, besides busy junctions already have these facilities.
There has been a long standing demand from disabled groups to include their needs in the Railway Budget. In fact, N.C.P.E.D.P. had written to the Railways Minister to incorporate a few suggestions to benefit people with disabilities. These included special coaches for disabled people in certain trains, allocating appropriate seats in coaches at the time of booking, concessions for disabled people in super fast trains like Rajdhani, besides making the stations disabled friendly.
Hopefully, this step is one among many that will follow.