Tuesday, July 29, 2008

India: Central Railways install beepers for the visually impaired!

Central Railway will lay down rough tiles on all the platforms of suburban railway stations to aid visually impaired commuters locate the coaches meant for handicapped.

Qasim Mehdi

The decision of Central Railways to install beepers at all the suburban railway stations to aid the visually impaired to locate the coach meant for the handicapped was received well by the commuters.

The platform stretch outside the handicapped compartment will soon have chequered tiles to aid the visually impaired

However, just after a few months of the installation most of the beepers stopped working due to several technical problems.

And thus, the visually impaired commuters had to again rely on other commuters to guide them to the handicapped’s coach.

Thus, to help the blind commuters, the railway has come up with a novel idea of laying down chequered tiles around the compartments mean for handicapped commuters.

The chequered tiles will be rough in nature and hence the blind, with the help of their sticks, can easily locate the area where their coach will halt.

S Mudgerikar, CPRO of Central Railway, says, "We have received complaints about the beepers not working. We'll first repair these beepers. Moreover, we have also decided to use these tiles around the area where their compartment for handicapped halts."

Speaking about the benefits of the tiles, Mudgerikar says, "As the tiles would be rough in nature, the blind commuters can easily locate it with the help of their sticks.

Moreover, they will be easy to maintain." He further added that they have already floated the tenders and the construction work will start within a period of six months.

When we spoke to a few blind commuters about the would-to-arrive chequered tiles, they were delighted to hear the news. V Singh, a resident of Thakurli who travels daily to a blind school in Dadar, says, "Though we are now habituate to locate our coaches, but still it will be of great help.
" While R Gupta, who commutes regularly from Kalyan to his work place in Thane, says, "The beepers installed by the railways don't work due to technical problems.

During peak hours it becomes really difficult to locate the compartment. Now that there were be rough tiles laid at the place where our compartment halts, it will greatly benefit us."


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