Permanent ramp on Marina for PwDs from tomorrow

The government should take such issues into consideration and act at the earliest, they urged.
Stalin to inaugurate permanent ramp at Marina Beach tomorrow
Stalin to inaugurate permanent ramp at Marina Beach tomorrowHemanathan

CHENNAI: Though the differently -abled people are happy for the permanent pathway constructed by the Chennau Corporation which will be in use from Sunday, they raised concerns over basic amenities lacking in public places for them, including toilets, buses, government buildings, and tourist spots.

The government should take such issues into consideration and act at the earliest, they urged.

The 235-metre pathway has been built at the cost of Rs 1.14 crore, opposite Vivekananda House on Marina beach. Handrails are placed throughout the ramp to help the differently-abled and senior citizens.

R Sathish Kumar, member of Disability Rights Alliance (DRA) said, "Every year on International Day of Persons with Disabilities (December 3), the Chennai Corporation used to set a temporary ramp for us. And it was only a single day that day. We got to spend time on the beach. For almost six years, we urged the civic body authorities to construct a permanent pathway. Later, the government allocated funds recently."

To ensure the safety of the disabled people who visit the beach, the Corporation should install CCTV cameras at the starting point and near the sea. "During rainy days, the plywood placed on the ramp might weaken, which would be difficult for wheelchair users and senior citizens. So, the civic body should replace it with a better material,” added Sathish.

After a lot of struggles by differently -abled associations and activists in the city, the government has initiated the permanent ramp on the beach. Similarly, people urged the concerned department to take steps and ensure all public places are disabled friendly.

"Though the government promises to make all buildings disabled friendly, no steps have been taken so far. It is a disappointment that differently abled are not noticed and lack basic amenities in public places, especially public transport, as we cannot keep spending a lot of money on transportation alone," said K Jhansi, a wheelchair user

at Perambur.

She further stated that we are unable to visit any places like tourist spots to spend leisure time. After all these years, only Marina beach has become disabled friendly, which is overwhelming.

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