CHENNAI: The Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL), on Wednesday, gave an undertaking before the Madras High Court that all metro railway stations would be made disabled-friendly in six weeks in compliance with an audit report which found deficiencies in providing barrierfree access.
The undertaking was given before the first bench of Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice N Mala when a petition seeking orders to the CMRL to implement relevant sections of Persons With Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995, which mandated transport systems to be made accessible to the disabled.
The counsel for the petitioner pointed out that the CMRL had failed to comply with the audit report for providing necessary facilities. The CMRL informed the bench that certain steps were taken to provide ramps and other facilities for disabled persons and promised to comply with the audit report in six weeks by setting right the deficiencies in the existing stations.
The petitioner, Vaishnavi Jayakumar, co-founder of Banyan, had stated in her petition that all 32 already-constructed metro stations lacked access facilities for disabled persons, as revealed in the audit held in 2020. Key features like ramps, lifts, handrails, ticket counters and tactile pathways were absent/ non-compliant or inaccessible.
The CMRL management is in violation of section 41 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 2016 and Rule 15 of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Rules, 2017. They are under a legal mandate to ensure all their structures are in strict compliance with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Urban Development in 2016, she contended.