[AI] HC seeks rly report on facilities for disabled

Pradeep banakar pradeepsocialwork at gmail.com
Fri Jun 27 10:03:29 EDT 2008

    Mumbai: Underground lifts, ramps, platforms that have wheel chair access, toilets for the disabled-this is the Bombay high court's vision to make railway platforms disabled friendly. 
 The HC on Thursday sought a report on the facilities for disabled at railway platforms in Mumbai. Hearing a public interest litigation on the lack of such facilities, a division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice V M Kanade asked lawyers Mihir Desai and Suresh Kumar to visit Mumbai Central station for verifying the ground reality at railway platforms. The report has to be submitted before the next date of hearing which is scheduled for July 10. 
"Right from the stage that a person gets out of his car at the parking lot to the time he boards a train, the railway stations should make available disabled friendly facilities,'' said the Chief Justice. The court was hearing a PIL filed by India Centre for Human Rights and Law to make urban transport in the city accessible to the disabled. 
  Enacted in 1995, the Persons with Disability Act sets out a special non-discrimination clause that makes it mandatory for the government and other agencies to make public spaces and transport facilities disabled friendly. The Act proposes to make rail compartments, aircraft and ships easily accessible to challenged persons. The Act also stipulates the government to provide for auditory signals at traffic signals, engraving on the surface of zebra crossings and railway platforms and warning signals for the challenged. 
Though at present railway platforms are provided with auditory signals to indicate location of the special compartment for physically challenged persons, there are no other facilities. Low platforms and pedestrian over bridges make railway stations generally out of bounds for physically challenged persons, claimed the petition. 

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