As many as eight Namma Metro Stations in Bangalore do not have washroom facilities for the specially-abled people.
Physically-disabled metro commuters are facing a significant challenge due to the absence of accessible washrooms. This issue is troubling commuters in several metro stations such as Yeshwantpur, Sandal Soap Factory, Mahalaxmi, RajajiNagar, Srirampura, Vidhan Soudha, Kengeri Bus Terminal and Baiyappanahalli.
The Persons with Disabilities Act mandates that all transport facilities, including metro stations, must provide accessible washrooms for specially abled people. One of the physically disabled people who regularly travels in metro Mrs. Devikala has expressed her concern as she says “the lack of infrastructure such as handrails, safety measures, hygiene, and maintenance in certain metro stations are problems that need to be addressed.”
Mr. Srivas Rajgopalan Public Relations Officer (PRO) at Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) said “in the initial phase, there was no plan to include Physically Disabled facilities, although the phase two expansion has incorporated such washrooms.”
To tackle this issue an organization called the Association of People with Disabilities (APD) are actively working to improve accessibility for physically-disabled individuals in Namma Metro. Mr. S. Babu, Deputy Director of Policy Advocacy, Government Interface Department at APD says, “The government should take a systematic approach to make the metro washrooms more accessible.” He also says that APD has formed The Karnataka Accessible Task Force which is actively working towards improving accessibility in metro stations across Karnataka by creating awareness through campaigns.
Mr. Babu further says “the absence of accessible washrooms in Namma Metro stations is a pressing concern that needs immediate attention. The government’s acknowledgment of this issue and the efforts of our organization (APD) are steps in the right direction. However, more action is needed to ensure that Physically Disabled commuters can use the metro system comfortably and safely.”