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Saturday, 26 September 2015

CMRL to Make Underground and Elevated Stations Disabled-Friendly

The Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) will be taking initiatives to make the currently-running and the upcoming underground and elevated stations more accessible for persons with disabilities.

There are no facilities on platforms to help wheelchair-bound people board a train. | EPS
Despite recommendations submitted by the Disability Rights Alliance (DRA) in 2012, there have been issues of access in the currently running stations from Alandur to Koyambedu. This has been alleged as a case of contractor oversight.

As of September 23, the CMRL has agreed to cooperate with the DRA in rectifying these issues soon. It should be pointed out that the CMRL is being accommodating after the DRA completed an access-audit in August this year. “We had submitted a draft with recommendations for disabled-friendly fixtures and facilities three years ago. Though CMRL follows international standards in operation, the access to persons with disabilities was not addressed effectively,” said Smitha Sadasivan, DRA.

From accessing doors and the walky-talkies in the elevators to getting the wheelchairs from the platform into the trains, there have been several recommendations put forth by DRA.  In a communication to the CMRL recently, an official from the DRA said that these passengers still have issues reaching for the token counter, help desk and even the toilets, which have been constructed at an inaccessible height.

Sankar, from Agate Infotek, has been chosen by the DRA as the consultant to liaise with CMRL. He will be a part of the team that will also have third-party consultants to combat this inefficiency. “The response has been very positive from CMRL’s side, and all stations are being designed to be more accessible for persons with disabilities,” he stated.

Source : The New Indian Express , 26th Sep 2015 

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