The Ministry of Railways on Tuesday announced that the Indian Railways is installing lifts and escalators at railway stations across the country. The initiative is a part of Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan (Accessible India Campaign), to provide ease of movement to the differently-abled, aged and children on railway platforms. So far, there are 497 stations where either lifts or escalators have been provided, according to a statement from the Ministry.
“Indian Railways has been consistently trying to improve passenger amenities at various stations. Provision of escalators and Lifts at the railway platforms is a part of this and also a necessity in view of the ever-increasing passenger volumes,” the Ministry of Railways said in the statement.
According to the official information given by the Ministry of Railways, escalators have been installed in state capitals, cities with a population of more than 10 lakh or stations having a footfall of more than 25,000 per day. As many as 1,090 escalators have been installed at 339 stations up to August 2022. The information also read that as per policy, GM/Zonal Railways are empowered to select stations/platforms for the provision of lifts considering footfall, constraints of space, among other things. So far, 981 Lifts at 400 stations have been provided up to August 2022.
Such facility would facilitate improvement at exit/entry of passengers and is a further step to improve passenger safety as well, the Ministry added.
The Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan was launched by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) as a nation-wide campaign for achieving universal accessibility for Persons with Disabilities. The initiative was launched in December 2015. It has three verticals, namely, the build environment, the transportation sector and the ICT ecosystem.
According to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, the vision of Accessible India Campaign is to create a barrier free environment for independent, safe and dignified living of Persons with Disabilities. “The Vision statement declares: “Accessible India. Empowered India.”