Mumbai

Mumbai local train travel must be more disabled-friendly, says HC

Collapsible ramps could be placed at the doors of local train coaches reserved for differently-abled persons.

Collapsible ramps could be placed at the doors of local train coaches reserved for differently-abled persons.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Asks Railways to think out of the box

The Bombay High Court (HC) on Monday asked the railway authorities to “think out of the box” and come up with ways to make suburban train coaches and stations more disabled-friendly.

The Railways in an affidavit submitted before the HC said it would not be possible to increase the halt time of trains and to redesign coaches reserved for persons with disability.

It filed the affidavit in response to a query made last month by a division bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice N.M. Jamdar on whether collapsible ramps could be placed at the doors of local train coaches reserved for differently-abled persons. The court had also suggested increasing the halt time of trains at each station for the convenience of persons with disability.

However, the Railways, in the affidavit, said, “Installation of collapsible ramp at the doors would require complete redesigning of these coaches by providing a suitable hydraulic system. At present, there is no design available.” A train halts at a station for 20 to 30 seconds and if the collapsible ramp is installed, then the halt time will increase, which would then result in 11% decrease in train services, the affidavit said.

“Consequently, the rush would increase which may then result in increase in accidents,” it said.

The bench then said the Railways has to come up with a solution. “We read newspaper reports about deaths due to overcrowding in local trains. You have to come up with a solution. Think out of the box. Technology has improved so much in this world,” Chief Justice Nandrajog said.

Justice Jamdar suggested that the coach behind the motorman’s cabin to be reserved for the differently-abled.

The bench was hearing a public interest litigation filed by local non-governmental organisation India Centre for Human Rights and Law for making the suburban trains and railway stations disabled-friendly.

The court has posted the petition for further hearing in September.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 11:41:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/hc-make-local-train-travel-more-disabled-friendly/article28667274.ece

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