Make Railway Stations disabled-friendly: Bombay High Court

मुंबई Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Wednesday directed the Western and Central Railway to reply to the PIL alleging failure of authorities to comply with the law and make railway stations disabled-friendly.

A division bench of Justice A.S.Oka and Justice A.S.Gadkari was hearing a PIL filed by the India Centre for Human Rights & Law, seeking to make urban transport in the city accessible to the disabled as provided under the law. The bench directed the authorities to file an affidavit by Jan 7.  The petition said that under the Persons with Disability Act, enacted in 1995, there was a special “non-discrimination” clause that made it mandatory for the government and other agencies to make public spaces and transport facilities disabled-friendly. The Act proposed to make rail compartments, toilets, aircrafts and ships easily accessible to challenged persons and those using wheelchairs. The petition said that the Act asked the government to provide auditory signals at traffic signals, engraving on the surface of zebra crossings and railway platforms, and warning signals for the challenged. The PIL accepted that currently, railway platforms were provided with auditory signals to indicate location of the special compartment for physically challenged persons. However, it alleged that low platforms and pedestrian over bridges had made railway stations out of bounds for physically challenged persons, especially those on wheelchairs.

The court had earlier opined that special facilities should be there on platforms to allow disabled persons to board trains without any problem.