New Delhi: Indian Railways has plans to introduce special facilities for the physically challenge’s convenience at over 1,500 stations in the country. According to senior Railway Ministry officials, special facilities like access ramps, reserved parking slots, low height water taps and suitable toilets for differently-abled people will be developed in phases at important railway stations. ”The decision in this regard has been taken by the Railway Board. We have earmarked 1,560 stations for the purpose and the work at all these B-Category stations-most of them in state capitals and important cities-will be completed by the end of 2010,” a senior Railway ministry official stated. Besides, non-slippery walk way for the handicapped and special signage for the blind will also be put up at the stations.
The Board has also decided to have ‘May I help you booths’ especially to guide and assist them in case of need. Indian Railways presently have nearly 7,000 stations spread in 16 zones. Busy junctions and A-1 and A-category stations like Mumbai, Delhi, Howrah, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad have these facilities. The same facilities are also available at some other major stations too. ”We have received a lot of requests from the physically challenged people asking us to provide these facilities. Soon, we will be coming up with some more steps to suit their needs,” the officer said. Moreover, the Railways have also decided to develop 271 model and 257 modern stations across the country.