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Specially designed bus shelters in the offing

D.N.I.S. News Network – Despite the failure on the part of the New Delhi Municipal Council (N.D.M.C.) to incorporate necessary clauses to make the 197 new bus queue shelters in its area disabled-friendly, European advertising firm J. C. Decaux that bagged the contract has, in a letter to disability rights group Samarthya, offered to provide access ramps, tactile tiles and braille plates at all the shelters.

The India in-charge of the company, Thomas Guedron, has stated that efforts would be made to make this project a showcase for other such ventures. The company has asked the N.G.O. to supply Braille plates for the shelters. The firm has also offered to install the plates on each shelter’s pole at 120 c.m. from the ground.

Earlier, a number of measures including maintaining the height of the shelters at 380 m.m. to make them compatible with low floor buses operating under the High Capacity Bus System, to have a ramp on both sides with handrails at two levels, and textural or tactile clues for persons with visual impairment had been suggested. Further, it was stated that there should be demarcated space under the shelter for two wheelchairs, Braille plates with name of the bus shelter and routes in Hindi and English, and audio beepers for orienting blind persons.

The design will be similar to that of the model barrier-free shelter constructed by Delhi Transport Corporation at Hauz Khas terminal in South Delhi. Since these shelters will also have telephones, the coin insertion slit has been sought at a height of 120 c.m. Proper display of timetable and public information has been demanded along with proper illumination for all the facilities provided. As in the case of the Hauz Khas shelter, it has also been suggested that the bus shelters – costing Rs. 23 lakh each – have a bright colour contrast for those with low vision. Under the 15-year contract, the company is to make ultra modern shelters at a total cost of nearly Rs. 46 crore.