Makinng Railway Stations and Trains Disabled-Friendly
In order to provide better accessibility to Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), short term facilities, as detailed below, have been planned at all stations, beginning with ‘A-1’, ‘A’ and ‘B’ category stations:-
• Standard ramp for barrier free entry
• Earmarking at least two parking lots
• Non-slippery walk-way from parking lot to building
• Signages of appropriate visibility
• At least one toilet (on the ground floor)
• At least one drinking water tap suitable for use by Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan)
• ‘May I help you’ Booth
In addition, long term facilities, as detailed below, have also been planned at ‘A-1’, ‘A’ and ‘B’ category stations:-
• Provision of facility for inter-platform transfer
• Engraving on edges of platform
In order to facilitate easy movement of elderly and Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), as per the existing guidelines, ‘A-1’ category stations qualify for provision of escalators/elevators while ‘A’ category, ‘C’ category and stations of tourist importance qualify for provision of escalators under ‘Desirable Amenities’. So far, 394 escalators at 167 stations and 219 lifts at 100 stations have been provided. Further, work is in progress for about 380 nos. of escalators at 133 stations and 427 nos. of lifts at 134 stations which shall be completed over a period of next two to three years.
Indian Railways have manufactured about 3450 SLRD/SRD coaches (SLRD-Second Class Cum Luggage Cum Guard Van & Disabled friendly compartment, SRD- Second Class Cum Guard Van & Disabled friendly compartment) which have a suitably designed compartment and toilet adapted to the needs of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan)/wheelchair borne passengers. In SLRD coaches, wider entrance door for wheelchair borne passengers, wider berths, wider compartments, space for provision of wheelchair, larger lavatory and lavatory doors have been provided. Inside the toilets, additional grab rails on the side walls for support, wash basin and mirror at lower height have been provided. It is endeavored to have at least one such coach in each Mail/Express train having ICF design coaches.
Further, the fully air conditioned Garib Rath trains have been provided with an Air conditioned Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) friendly compartment and toilets in the power cars.
For assistance to visually impaired travelers, Braille signages are now being provided in newly manufactured coaches.
Availability of Wheelchairs on Platforms: Instructions already exist for provision of Wheelchair at stations. This facility is provided, duly escorted by coolies (on payment) as per present practice. Zonal Railways have also been instructed to provide one wheelchair per platform and in case of island platforms one wheelchair per two platforms at all ‘A-1’ and ‘A’ category stations.
Battery Operated Cars (BOCs): Zonal Railways have been authorized to introduce Battery Operated Cars (BOCs) at major railway stations for Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), elderly and ailing passengers on ‘first come first served’ basis through sponsorship from individuals, NGOs, Trusts, Charitable institutions, Corporate and PSUs/Corporate Houses under their Corporate Social Responsibility free of charge to passenger or to the Railway. 70 BOCs have already been provided at 48 major railway stations. Further, instructions have also been issued to Zonal Railways to invite Expression of Interest for providing the facility of Battery Operated Car service on payment basis initially at all ‘A-1’ category stations keeping in view the financial sustainability of the service. This facility can be availed by passengers on ‘first come first served’ basis, however, preference shall be given to Senior Citizens, Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), pregnant women and medically sick passengers.
Yatri Mitra Sewa: ‘Yatri Mitra Sewa’ is being provided at major stations for enabling passengers to book wheelchair services cum Porter services etc. The responsibility of providing Yatri Mitra Sewa is entrusted to IRCTC who may provide this service ‘Free of cost’ through some NGOs, PSUs etc. under CSR or on payment basis. This service can be booked on IRCTC e-ticketing website and 139 (IVRS and SMS) or through a mobile.
Complaints on railway services are received from all walks of life through various channels viz.; Centralised Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) web portal, Complaints Management System Portal, Social media etc. which are forwarded to concerned Departments of Railways for necessary action. However, no separate data is maintained regarding complaints of railway services being Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) unfriendly.
This Press Release is based on the information given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Rajen Gohain in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha on 11.08.2017 (Friday).