The East Coast Railway (ECoR) on Friday introduced ramp for wheelchair at Bhubaneswar railway station to help physically challenged passengers to board trains easily.
Previously, the persons with disabilities (PWD) were facing difficulties while boarding trains. They were dangerously crawling into the train coaches or taking help by other passengers to reach near their berths. But now they will get into the coaches through the ramp while sitting in the wheelchair.
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. But, what may pose difficulties for the beneficiaries is that there are only three wheelchairs in the station, while one needs repair.
On the first day, the makeshift ramp was used for Bhubaneswar-Mumbai Konark Express for easy boarding of PWDs. Four physically disabled persons took the benefit of the service.
“I’m travelling in trains regularly for so many years, but for the first time I saw such a mobile ramp for train. It’s a welcoming step by railways. Several people like me will get benefited out of it,” said N Shyam Sundar, a PWD passenger.
Subodh Choudhury, chief rolling stock engineer of ECoR, said the ramp is designed by ECoR engineers. It is a folded ramp and can be easily carried.
“We introduced it in Bhubaneswar station on pilot basis. If we get positive feedback from the passengers and beneficiaries, we will replicate this model in other stations,” he added.
Choudhury said they have planned to introduce it in ECoR’s other two A1 stations Puri and Visakhapatnam. “After reviewing the success of this project, we will replicate this idea in medium and small stations later,” he added.
Courtesy: Times of India | New Indian Express