Chennai

Toilet for persons with disabilities built, but platforms at Nungambakkam station continue to be inaccessible

The new toilet for persons with disabilities at Nungambakkam station

The new toilet for persons with disabilities at Nungambakkam station   | Photo Credit: K. Pichumani

Even the toilet has seven steps leading to it with no ramp, say commiters and activists

The entrance to Nungambakkam Railway station now features a new toilet built for persons with disabilities, which is yet to be inaugurated. While welcoming the initiative to ensure amenities for persons with disabilities, a section of commuters and activists said this could be a case of misplaced priorities, as they station itself was largely inaccessible.

For instance, the toilet itself is located close to a foot over-bridge (FOB) at a spot where one has to climb at least seven steps from the road to access it.“It looks like officials have not even thought about providing a ramp for the toilet. Even if they decide to provide one now, it is likely to be a steep one that may be difficult to use,” said Dayanand Krishnan, president, Pradeep and Karthik Avenue Association in Chitlapakkam, who campaigns for better civic infrastructure in the city.

Importantly, platforms of the station can only be accessed through the FOBs, which present huge difficulties for persons with locomotor disabilities.

“We see at least a few people in a day finding it difficult to climb the stairs. Elderly people also have a tough time,” said N. Viswanathan, an autorickshaw driver near the station.

Mr. Dayanand said that the railways could have prioritised the construction of a lift for commuters. “It is not the case that the toilet is not needed. The priority should have been a lift, at least on one side of the station,” he said.

To an appeal made by him online, the Divisional Railway Manager's office has responded saying that the issue will be looked into.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 2:24:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/toilet-for-persons-with-disabilities-built-but-platforms-at-nungambakkam-station-continue-to-be-inaccessible/article30346673.ece

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