Ability khabarnama section features a roundup of the latest
health, medical, and world disability news focusing on
up-to-the-minute breaking news, video, audio and feature stories from around the globe. International news items and articles include updates on disability legislation and coming health and disability events, as well as medical research breakthroughs, and advances in the field of medicine, science, and cures for various disabilities.
Translate The Content in Your Local Language
Thursday, 25 June 2015
Walk, Skip and Hop Your Way to Metro Stations - CHENNAI
The huge pillar on the footpath leading to the Ashok Nagar Metro Station
could be one of the hindrances to smooth movement of commuters, once
the services begin
Chennai Metro Rail is expected to start its operation in the
10-kilometre stretch between Koyambedu and Alandur. However, questions
persist over the basic facilities available for commuters, particularly
the differently abled, at stations on the stretch, including Arumbakkam,
Vadapalani and Ashok Nagar.
These stations lack footpaths and
wherever there is one, it is only a foot-wide, says a study done by the
Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP). As per
ITDP’s research from the world’s best practices, such streets with
high volume footfalls should provide a minimum of three-metre clear,
uninterrupted pedestrian walkway. With thousands of passengers expected
to use the service in the coming months, the access to the stations is
yet to be designed in a well thought out manner.
The biggest issue
is the delay in notification of the Chennai Unified Metropolitan
Transport Authority (CUMTA) Act. This has resulted in the delay of
integration of all public mass passenger transport modes through various
measures, including routing and scheduling, operating feeder services
and combined or common ticketing facility to offer seamless commuting
options to the public, said sources said. But ITDP technical director
Christopher Kost says that the delay can’t be cited as a reason. “Yes,
the notification is yet to happen, but that doesn’t absolve independent
agencies like the State Highways Department to provide quality
footpaths,” he says. “What prevents them from working independently like
the Chennai Corporation. The Corporation Commissioner regularly
conducts the meeting on Non-Motorised Transport (NMT),” says Kost.
primary issue, as experts see it, is that the Metro corridor runs along
the most unsafe roads, and it caters to the commuters who have to walk
all the way to get into the train.
“But Highways officials have failed to get their act together for catering to this section,” said Kost.
to the ITDP study, seamless and efficient transfer between different
transport modes is crucial to ensure successful migration to public
transport systems like Metro Rail. If the wait at intermodal points are
long, the passengers will prefer to use their private vehicles.
However, even the MMI (Multi Modal Integration) committee has failed to
do its part. Although the committee conducted a survey of the metro
corridor on January 23 and ITDP highlighted the issues relating to
pedestrian movement, the Highway officials have been sleeping over it
for six months.
Kost added that the entire stretch was unsuitable
for the differently abled. “While the stations have ramps, the question
is how the disabled people will reach the station to access metro
trains. There are no ramps along the footpaths,” says Kost.
Arumbakkam, Vadapalani and Ashok Nagar, there are no clear pedestrian
walkways in the station area. Most part of the stretch lacks footpaths,
which should be designed and laid before Metro Rail begins operations.
There are also too many driveways along the length of the stations with
abrupt curbs, making the walk equivalent to a hurdle race, says the ITDP
study. Best practices vouch for continuous footpaths even at property
entrances. The street design does not account for seamless connectivity
to other modes of public transport such as MTC bus stops. It is not yet
clear how the routes of the other modes of transport will be
rationalised to act as feeder network for the metro rail system, the
In an integrated network, the passengers have added
benefits, including information integration, whereby they will be able
to avail realtime information on various modes regarding connectivity
options, routes, schedules, and fares. These also include fare
integration with integrated payment solutions like smart cards that
allows seamless access and payment across different modes.
Such levels of integration can only be achieved in the presence of a strong and unified transport authority.