New Delhi, 05 April 2022: The Government has undertaken various measures for making boarding and de-boarding easier for senior citizens/ differently abled persons in public transport.
Details of measures for providing quality transport services to the senior citizens/differently abled persons (including differently abled persons in wheel chairs) are given at Annexure.
Details of measures for providing quality transport services to the senior citizens/differently abled persons (including differently abled persons in wheel chairs):-
- Ministry of Railways:
- Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) local trains have compartment earmarked for differently abled persons (Divyangjan).
- Unlike other compartments, doorway centre pole is relocated to the sides to enable entry of wheel chairs.
- Disabled friendly Integral Coach Factory (ICF) designed SLRD (Second class cum Luggage cum Guard Van & Disabled Friendly Compartment) coaches have been incorporated. It is endeavoured to have at least one coach in each Mail/Express train having ICF type coaches. At present, 3519 ICF type SLRD coaches (as on 31.03. 2021) are in the fleet of Indian Railways.
- Further, Production units have already started manufacturing LHB Second Luggage, Guard & Divyang Compartment (LSLRD) type coaches for Divyang Passengers which are inducted in IR progressively.
- So far, nearly 485 LHB type LSLRD/ LDSLR have been manufactured by Production Units and inducted over Indian Railways and further proliferation of LSLRD with augmentation in Production Plan has been planned.
- These coaches have a suitable designed compartment & toilet adapted to the needs of the disabled/wheel chair borne passengers. In these coaches, wider entrance door, wider berths, wider compartments, larger lavatory and lavatory doors, etc. have been provided. Inside the toilets additional grab rails on the side walls for support and wash basin and mirror at a lower height are also available inside the toilets.
- In addition to the above further, All Production Units have been advised to provide at least two doors of 920 mm width, one on each side of the coach in future in all newly manufactured coaches. This will ensure improved accessibility to Divyangjan passengers inside coaches. AC economy Coaches recently developed and being manufactured are equipped with such doors.
- For the assistance of the visually impaired travellers, integrated Braille Signage, i.e. Signage superimposed with Braille scripts, are being provided in all the newly manufactured coaches. Further, retro-fitment of the same in existing coaches is also continuing in a phased manner.
- Ministry of Road Transport and Highways:
Ministry of Road Transport and Highways vide GSR notification 959 (E) dated 27th December, 2019 has notified amendments to the Central Motor Vehicles Rules for providing Divyang friendly features. Arrangements for priority seats, signs, securing of crutches/canes/walkers, hand rail/stanchions, controls at priority seats and wheel chair entry/housing/locking arrangement for wheel chair for differently abled passengers or passengers with reduced mobility to be checked and ensured at the time of fitness inspection.
III. Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities:
As per the Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan) report launched by Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) updated on 24-08-2021 it has been stated that for the transportation sector, the focus is on providing accessibility in the infrastructure as well as services of the transportation sector as a whole. Thus, Airports, Railway Stations and Bus Terminals as well as Carriers (Railway coaches, Buses, etc.) and related services such as ticket booking, enquiries, booking status, booking of special assistance, etc. are being made disabled friendly.
In the Accessible India Campaign report details of measures laid down for providing quality transport services to the differently abled persons are as follow:-
- Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has taken special measures to develop barrier free travel experience for persons with disabilities.
- Low height counters for wheelchair users in Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata.
- Aerobridges for obstruction free boarding in Chennai International Airport, Tamil Nadu.
- E-Cart services for easy transfers in Devi Ahilya Bai Holekar Airport, Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
- Braille Tactile Maps and Braille Indicators/Signage provided along the handrail, for ease of navigation in Dehradun Railway Station.
Accessibility features provided in buses –
- Wide doors and foldable ramps for ease of boarding by wheelchair users.
- Audio announcement systems and video or digital display of information.
- Emergency response devices – alarm buttons and fire extinguishers located at reachable heights.
- Reserved space for wheelchair users with secure locks and belts and reserved seating for elderly, pregnant women and persons with disabilities.
- Information (such as seat numbers and steps ahead) made available using graphical and braille signage.
- Ministry of Civil Aviation:
As per Annual Report 2020-21 of Ministry of Civil Aviation following measures have been taken for the welfare of Senior Citizens:
- Remove all physical barriers to facilitate easy entry movement and exit at all airports and in airlines;
- Change the design of the frisking booths in the security hold areas so that the elderly are not required to climb and descend while undergoing security checks;
- Pay special attention for providing help/assistance to them particularly after alighting from vehicles at the airports and until the person reaches the check-in counters;
- Pay special attention to the elderly and those needing assistance at the booking offices of airlines;
- Give preference in reservation and earmarking of seats in the airlines;
Apart from these measures Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment provided budgetary support for welfare of senior citizens from Senior Citizens Welfare Fund of Rs. 97.80 Lakhs to Ministry of Civil Aviation in the year 2018-19 for 30 Electric Operated Golf Cart for operating them at 8 designated Airports and to release funds to Authority of India (AAI) to facilitate the Senior Citizens movement irrespective of the class of their travel and to achieve desired level of customer satisfaction.
This information was given by the Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment, Sushri Pratima Bhoumik in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.