Chennai

Location finalised for accessible pathway on Elliots Beach

There are several other requirements that need to be met to provide an accessible beach experience for persons with disabilities.

There are several other requirements that need to be met to provide an accessible beach experience for persons with disabilities. | Photo Credit: K.V.SRINIVASAN

Members of the Disability Rights Alliance (DRA) along with various stakeholders have zeroed in on a location for an accessible pathway to be laid at the Elliots Beach, and have submitted their recommendation to the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC). 

Officials from the GCC, persons with disabilities, local vendors, fishermen, environmentalists, and local residents were among those who were invited to participate in discussions about the accessible pathway earlier this month. “We wanted all these stakeholders to meet right at the start and take into consideration any concern that can come up in the future based on the locations we had zeroed in on. The location we have finalised and recommended, will now be taken up by the GCC for CRZ clearance,” said Vaishnavi Jayakumar, member, DRA. 

In Chennai, a location has already been finalised for an accessible pathway at the Marina Beach and this is now at the tender stage. The work on this is expected to start shortly. 

Apart from the accessible pathway, there are several other requirements that need to be met to provide an accessible beach experience for persons with disabilities. This includes ensuring that the surrounding pedestrian area is accessible, as well as identifying routes from the closest public transport system to the pathway in the beach. 

“There should also be a dedicated parking space, as well as accessible toilets. A ‘May I Help’ counter located near the pathway along with a first aid desk, and a coast guard need to be there,” said Smitha Sadasivam, member, DRA. She further said that while beach wheelchairs will be made available, they need proper storage space and that dedicated persons should be appointed once the permanent pathway is built to assist persons on wheelchairs. 

Since 2016, a temporary pathway has been installed on World Disability Day at one of the city’s beaches for persons with disabilities to visit the beach and go near the sea. “Last year, the pathway remained for nearly three weeks and around 1,500 persons with disabilities from Chennai as well as places like Vellore and Kancheepuram visited,” said Sathish Kumar a member of the DRA. He said that they loved going up to the sea when the temporary pathway is built each year, and that they were looking forward to using the permanent pathways once ready. 


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Printable version | May 25, 2022 2:50:54 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/location-finalised-for-accessible-pathway-on-elliots-beach/article65423493.ece