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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Make railway stations more disabled-friendly: Delhi govt

Neelam Pandey, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 12, 2013
First Published: 00:33 IST(12/2/2013) | Last Updated: 00:35 IST(12/2/2013)

Concerned over the lack of facilities available for differently-abled people at the New Delhi Railway station, the Delhi government has shot off a letter to Northern Railways, asking them to make provisions for more escalators.

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It has been brought to the government’s notice that a number of differently-abled persons risk their lives every day by using railway tracks to get to platforms.

A letter by the Office of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities has highlighted that “a person on a wheelchair cannot move to another platform as there was no facility for reaching the platform inside the station… His attendant has to approach (the platform) from a different direction and cross railway tracks to get there”.

The letter by Chief Commi-ssioner KS Mehra has asked the authorities to make the station barrier-free to ensure differently-abled people as well as senior citizens can avail of these facilities. For instance, they have suggested that escalators should be put in place to help them access the platforms.

The chief commissioner has also circulated a copy of a manual called “planning a barrier-free environment” to all government departments, including the Railways, and asked them to consult the manual before carrying out any construction. The commissioner has also recommended engravings on the edge of railway platforms to make moving easier for the blind.

His office also plans to carry out an audit of 20-odd government buildings to ascertain how accessible they are for the differently-abled. In case of shortcomings, they will suggest ways to rectify them.

“We have built ramps and motorable tracks for differently-abled people. We also provide wheelchairs on first-cum-first-served basis. We also have plans to set up new elevators,” said Anurag Sachan, divisional railway manager.

There are about 2.7 lakh differently-abled persons in the city.

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