Telangana government announces facilities for barrier-free travel of people with disabilities

Asia-Pacific, News, Transportation, November 21 2017

HYDERABAD, INDIA: The Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) Limited, which is likely to begin its first phase in the next few weeks says it’s going to be accessible for all, even as the Telangana Department for Disabled Welfare is in the process of making public transport facilities accessible for persons with disabilities.

Making services available for several disabilities in the stations, lifts, ticket counters and the rail itself, officials claim those with disabilities can travel without a hassle. Officials at the HMR Ltd made designed these spaces after consulting persons with disabilities  in order to incorporate their needs.

A pan-India organisation called – Friendly Environment for the Disabled was involved in providing suggestions to make this hassle-free for persons with disabilities. President of the organisation, M Rangaram, who is partially blind, made a couple of visits to the Nagole station, which is part of the 17-km long Ameerpet-Nagole stretch. This is one of the two corridors which is likely to be launched in the first phase on November 28.

“I made a visit first after which we connected with several other organisations and sent groups of people with different disabilities” informed Rangaram. Those who are in wheelchair were also included. It began from entering a station, purchasing a ticket to boarding and travelling in the train. “We also shared observations from Delhi Metro Rail and this is better than that,” vouched Rangaram. However, they will be conducting another review once the Metro starts functioning.

Through a press release issued on Thursday, officials at the HMR Ltd informed that ramps to facilitate wheelchairs along with spacious lifts have been designed. Besides this, arrangements have been made to ensure that there is no danger to their lives while boarding the train.Lift operating buttons will have information in Braille for the blind and also a tactile strip for easier navigation. There are also special wheelchair spaces which will allow wheelchairs to be locked to a special ‘grab hold’ in the train. Inclusive toilets are also being constructed. Wide automatic fare collection gates are present for wheelchair passengers while special ticket vending machines for persons with speech impairment are being designed. Announcements of train arrival and departure will be made in three languages along with relevant signage and pictograms.

Telangana Department of Women, Children, Disabled and Senior Citizens issued an order to invite tenders to supply aids and for beneficiaries. According to the GO RT no 190, the Department through Telangana Vikalangula Co-Operative Corporation has called for the procurement of aids for persons with various disabilities. The list includes retrofitted motorised vehicles, tricycles, callipers and artificial limbs, battery-operated wheelchairs, laptops with JAWS software, MP3 players, walking sticks, Braille books, hearing aids and 4G smartphones for the hearing impaired, and teaching and learning materials. A total of ` 782.41 lakh has been sanctioned from the scheme of Rehabilitation & Supply of Prosthetic Aids to P.H Persons and subsidies, allocated to Telangana Vikalangula Cooperative Corporation for the year 2017-18. The beneficiaries of these sanctioned aids will be scrutinised by a district screening committee chaired by the joint collector of the district.

Source: newindianexpress

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