HC to rlys: Be more disabled-friendly
The Bombay High Court asked the railway ministry to prepare a national policy to make trains and railway stations more disabled-friendly, reports HT Correspondent.mumbai Updated: Apr 30, 2010 01:41 IST
The Bombay High Court on Thursday asked the railway ministry to prepare a national policy to make trains and railway stations more disabled-friendly.
“We do not find any reason why the railways should not start implementing measures to enabling disabled people to utilise their facilities,” said a division bench of Justice J N Patel and Justice S C Dharmadhikari.
The court was hearing a petition filed by India Centre for Human Rights and Law, seeking orders to make urban transport in the city accessible to the disabled, as provided for under the Persons with Disability Act, 1995.
During the course of hearing the petition, the petitioner’s lawyer expressed satisfaction that several changes were being made to provide the disabled easy access to railway services. However, she pointed out that there were certain long-term issues for which she requested the court to appoint a committee of experts.
The judges turned down the idea of a court-appointed committee and instead directed the railway ministry to put a proposal before the railway board for a national policy that would cover the entire country. The judges said the railways could implement the policy in a phased manner.
The court has given the railway ministry until June 24 to report on the progress it makes. The judges also suggested that Railway Protection Force personnel could be trained to assist the physically disabled in boarding and alighting from trains and allowing them to use railway facilities.
The Persons with Disability Act provides for a special “non-discrimination” clause that makes it mandatory for government agencies to make public spaces and transport facilities disabled-friendly.