BHUBANESWAR: THE East Coast Railway (ECoR) introduced a ramp for wheelchair-bound passengers at Bhubaneswar railway station on Friday. The much-awaited facility will help the disabled board the trains without any hassles.
During a demonstration, the ramp was connected to a coach of Bhubaneswar-Mumbai Konark Express on Friday afternoon, said Bhubaneswar station director CR Nayak.
The steps of a train’s coach are around two feet higher than the platform and it was difficult for family members of the differently-abled persons to lift them up and take them inside.
However, after introduction of the facility, persons with disabilities can apply for a wheelchair at the railway station by submitting a photocopy of their identity card and board the trains with the help of the ramp, he added.But, what may pose difficulties for the beneficiaries is that there are only three wheelchairs in the station, while one needs repair.
The ramp, designed by coaching depot officer Sanjay Kumar, is made of iron, aluminium and ply and has two wheels with locks besides two other locks for safety of the differently-abled passengers.
In the first phase, it will be introduced at Puri and Visakhapatnam stations and in the second phase, ECoR plans to start it in Cuttack, Khurda and Sambalpur stations, among some others.
ECoR officials asserted that the facility is presently available at only two railway stations in the country, Chennai being the first.