Northern Railway on Friday claimed that it had started a service for ferrying differently-abled passengers at all stations in the Delhi division."Wheelchairs will be available at all major stations. We are providing battery-operated golf carts free of cost to ferry passengers at New Delhi and Old Delhi stations on first-come-first-served basis," said Delhi divisional railway manager Anurag Sachan.
In February, the Delhi government had asked Northern Railways to provide adequate facilities, including more escalators, for differently-abled people at the New Delhi railway station. The government had also asked the railway authorities to make the station barrier-free.
“We are adding six sets (both for going up and coming down) of escalators to the existing three at the New Delhi station. We will put in place three escalators at Old Delhi and two at Hazrat Nizamuddin station this year itself,” Sachan said.
The daily footfall at the New Delhi and other stations in the capital is estimated to be around 15 lakh. There are about 2.7 lakh physically challenged people in the city.
The government directive to the railways comes after the Hindustan Times in December last year published a three-part series on the problems, including lack of facilities for differently-abled passengers, that plagued Delhi’s stations.
“Separate counters have also been earmarked for selling tickets to the physically-challenged people so that they can avoid long queues. Ramps and pathways have been provided at major terminals of Delhi,” he said.