The Bombay High Court said the Railways was duty-bound to provide facilities for differently-abled passengers and suggested a separate budgetary allocation for making the existing infrastructure better.
A division bench of Justices VM Kanade and PR Bora directed both Central and Western Railways to formulate a concrete plan in this regard.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by an NGO, India Centre for Human Rights and Law, on the lack of proper facilities for differently-abled persons at railway stations, platforms and in trains.
“The authorities concerned must make a separate budgetary allocation for sprucing up the existing infrastructure and for providing requisite and new infrastructural facilities for the disabled,” the court said.
The Western Railways submitted a report informing the court that it had installed escalators at most of the platforms on the Western line. It also said that soon, new lifts would be installed at stations.
At this, the bench said that while it understood that this was a “humongous task and can’t be done overnight, it was important that the authorities understood the needs and rights of the disabled”.
“You (Railways) are duty-bound to provide them (differently-abled persons) facilities,” the court said while granting the Central and Western Railways further time of six weeks to file a report on the steps taken by them.