Mumbai: Railway stations in Mumbai would be made differently-abled friendly and have facilities like low height ticket counters by Dec 31, the Railways on Thursday told the Bombay High Court. The Railway authorities assured the court that facilities for these special commuters would be provided at suburban stations. These would include low-height ticket windows, railings on the foot over-bridges and water coolers, the counsel for Central and Western Railway, Suresh Kumar told a division bench which was hearing a petition.
A bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka asked the Railways to put this assurance in an affidavit and posted the matter for hearing after two weeks. At an earlier hearing on a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) by India Center for Human Rights and Law, the court had asked the Railways to make stations differently-abled friendly.
However, the Railways had expressed their inability to provide low height ticket windows saying it would inconvenience general passengers. Hearing this, the court had expressed it’s displeasure over the Railway’s refusal to put low height ticket windows in place.
“How can you not provide such facilities…? We have already ordered you to do so. Tell us why will you not follow the law?” the court had asked, after going through the affidavit filed by the defendants.
On the last occasion, the court had asked the petitioner to make CIDCO, an infrastructure arm of the state government, a respondent as 14 railway stations on the Navi Mumbai route fall under its purview. It also sought a reply from CIDCO to the issues raised in the PIL.
The court also observed that there should be special facilities on platforms to allow differently-abled persons to board trains easily.