Chennai: In an effort to make public spaces more accessible for Persons with Disabilities (PwD), the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) is constructing two new ramps along the stretch of Elliot’s beach, apart from renovating the couple of existing ramps on the shore.
“Previously, only two ramps were existing on both ends of the beach for which we had to wheel at least half a kilometer to reach it or ask somebody to lift the wheelchair as the pavement is at least 6 to eight inches above the ground level. Also, the test of time had resulted in the dilapidated condition of the ramps, which made them inaccessible,” said J.D. Madan, a member of Disability Rights Alliance (DRA) that comprises groups of PwDs and their representative organisations.
GCC had completed the renovation work of one of the two existing ramps. A new ramp near the police booth has neared completion while the work on another ramp between police booth and the church would be completed within two weeks, officials said.
Members of DRA had also advised GCC to construct flares on the sides for safety. “Most of the places in Chennai have ramps that are plain concrete slopes – the reason for many accidents as there is high tendency to slip and the consolidation is poor. Side flares must be constructed to balance the ramp. Also, the concrete must be covered with tiles for durability,” said one of the members.
He further added that an accessible beach does not benefit the wheelchair-users or PwDs alone. It would help mount prams on the pavement and elderly people with physical limitations could walk on it.
In between, public rue that Marina is completely inaccessible as the only ramp near the lighthouse is damaged.
The tourism department submitted a proposal to the government of India on the accessible pathway till the waters, which is yet to be cleared....