Orgs working on PwD rights urge for inclusive public transportation

Additionally, the government should take measures to provide facilities for PwDs at bus stops, railway stations and airports conforming to the accessibility standards in parking lots, toilets, ticket counters and ticketing machines.
Representative image
Representative image

CHENNAI: More than 20 organisations working for the rights of differently-abled persons in Chennai and Tamil Nadu have written an open letter to Chief Minister MK Stalin regarding the inaccessibility and non-inclusivity of design standards in public transports of the State.

The letter stated that there are 1,635 Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) per 1 lakh people. And in Chennai alone there are 16.85 lakh PwDs according to World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics. But, despite all efforts for 20 years, both Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) and other corporation buses remain inaccessible.

“In November 2005, representing all organisations, a PIL for accessible MTC buses for PwDs was moved to Madras High Court. But, the transport department has filed an affidavit alleging shortage of funds to purchase or make buses accessible and unfavorable infrastructure for running the accessible buses,” read the letter to the Chief Minister.

Hence, pointing out that economic empowerment is only possible through accessible public transportation, we urge the Chief Minister to ensure public transport is accessible in terms of both vehicle and infrastructure, the letter noted.

Further, the letter urged the State government to develop schemes to promote the personal mobility of PwDs at affordable cost by providing for incentives and concessions, retrofitting in vehicles and personal mobility assistance.

Additionally, the government should take measures to provide facilities for PwDs at bus stops, railway stations and airports conforming to the accessibility standards in parking lots, toilets, ticket counters and ticketing machines.

Furthermore, take steps in conforming design standards, retrofitting old existing vehicles and accessible roads to address mobility necessary for PwDs.

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