Amenities at Railway stations for disabled passengers: Govt Plans for augmentation

New Delhi: Government is planning to augment various facilities at the railway stations for the convenience of differently abled passengers. "Although, improvement/augmentation of amenities at Railway stations, including those for differently abled and elderly passengers is a continuous process, Govt to provide better accessibility to passengers with disabilities, short-term facilities as detailed below have been planned at all stations, beginning with A-I, A & B category stations" said the Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu in statement in Lok Sabha on 12.04.2017 while replying to starred question no. 560 asked by Dr. Heena Vijaykumar Gavit and Shrimati Supriya.

Short-term facilities as detailed below have been planned at all stations, beginning with A-I, A & B category stations:
  • Standard ramp for barrier free entry.
  • At least one toilet (on the ground floor).
  • At least one drinking water tap suitable for use by differently abled persons.
  • Signages of appropriate visibility.
  • Non-slippery walk-way from parking lot to station building.
  • Earmarking at least two parking lots.
  • ‘May I help you’ Booths.
  • In addition, long term facilities, as detailed below, have been planned at ‘A-1’, ‘A’ & ‘B’ category stations:
  • Engraving on edges of platform.
  • Provision of facility for inter-platform transfer.
  • The details of railway stations provided with facilities for differently abled persons are as under:
S.No.  Facility for differently-abled persons           Approximate number of stations, where facility                                                                                       provided
1. Standard ramp for barrier free entry                                                                     1980
2. At least one toilet (on the ground floor)                                                         1530
3. At least one drinking water tap suitable for use by differently-abled persons      1520
4. Signages of appropriate visibility                                                          1280
5. Non-slippery walk-way from parking lot to station building                          1240
6. Earmarking at least two parkinglots                                                    1150
7. May I help you booth                                                                           960
8. Engraving on edges of platforms                                                       1650
9. Provision of facility for interplatform transfer                                        1140

The Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu also added "A total of 3,47,300 complaints, including the complaints from the persons with disabilities, have been received during financial year 2016-17 from various channels including Centralized Public Grievance Redress And Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) web portal, Complaints Management System (COMS) portal, Social Media etc. However, no separate data is maintained regarding requests/complaints received from persons with disabilities"

The following facilities have been extended from time to time for the physically handicapped persons:

i) Specially designed coaches known as SLRD coaches with wider entrance doors to allow a wheel chair to enter, wider aisles, cabins with 4 berths, the lower two for physically challenged persons and upper berths for attendants and modified toilet have been attached in  almost all Mail/Express trains except Rajdhani, Jan Shatabdi Express Trains and Duronto Express Trains.

ii) Instructions have been issued that in all Mail/Express Trains, the SLRD coaches should be treated as unreserved coaches earmarked for exclusive use of physically handicapped passengers. In case of Garib Rath Express Trains which are fully reserved trains, these coaches are treated as reserved for booking by Handicapped persons travelling on handicapped concession on payment of full fare of 3 AC class of Garib Rath Express on first come first served basis.

iii) Separate counters are earmarked at various Passenger Reservation System (PRS) centers for dealing with the reservation requisitions received from physically handicapped persons, Senior Citizens, Ex. MPs, MLAs, accredited journalists and freedom fighters, if the average demand per shift not less than 120 tickets. In case there is no justification for earmarking of an exclusive counter for any of these categories of persons including handicapped persons or senior citizens, one or two counters depending upon the total demand are earmarked for dealing with the reservation requests for all these categories of persons.

iv) Disabled friendly toilets, water fountains, ticket counters and earmarked parking facility is provided at all A-1, A and B category of stations.

v) Zonal Railways have been authorized to introduce Battery Operated Vehicles (BOVs) at major railway stations for disabled, elderly and ailing passengers on ‘first come first served’ basis through sponsorship from individuals, NGOs, Trusts, Charitable institutions, Corporates and PSUs/Corporate Houses under Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) free of charge to passenger or to the Railway. 80 BOVs have already been provided at 54 major railway stations. Further, instructions have also been issued to Zonal Railways to invite Expression of Interest for providing the facility of Battery Operated Car service on payment basis initially at all A1category stations keeping in view the financial sustainability of the service. This facility can be availed by passengers on ‘first come first served’ basis, however, preference shall be given to Sr. Citizens, physically challenged, pregnant women and medically sick passengers.

vi) Zonal Railways have also been instructed to provide one wheel chair per platform and in case of island platforms, one wheel chair per two platforms at all A1 and A category stations.

vii) Yatri Mitra Sewa has also been introduced at major railway stations for enabling passengers to book wheel chair services cum porter services free of cost through NGOs, Charitable trust, PSUs etc under CSR and responsibility of providing this facility has been entrusted with IRCTC. In case of lack of response from NGOs, Charitable trust, PSUs etc., this service may be arranged on payment basis through a service provider or on its own.

viii) As per rule, Male senior citizens of 60 years and above and women senior citizens of 58 years and above having Indian Nationality are granted concession in all classes and in the basic fares of Mail/Express & Rajdhani/Shatabdi/Jan Shatabdi/Duronto group of trains. The element of concession is 40% for men and 50% for women. The concession is given in the basic fares. As per data captured by CRIS, the revenue forgone due to concession being given to senior citizens and total revenue forgone during the last five years
is as under

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