<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A steep ramp built on the foot overbridge (FOB) at Andheri railway station to facilitate the movement of differently abled and senior citizens has finally been demolished by the Western Railway (WR).This ramp was not only termed ‘dangerous’ but also saw able-bodied commuters slip and fall. However, what continues to irk several commuters is that the ramp has now been replaced with stairs and no alternate arrangements for the differently abled.In a story published on November 10, DNA had reported the problems differently abled and senior citizens were facing while using the ramp. Located on the busiest Borivli end of the FOB that connects to the skywalk, the ramp was so steep that pushing a wheelchair on it was not an easy task.Speaking with DNA, Western Railway Chief Public Relation Officer Ravindra Bhakar said that the ramp was demolished after receiving complaints.”Due to the presence of a beam, the slope of the ramp could not be extended. Efforts were made to study various designs but it was not possible to build a ramp and a decision was taken to replace it with stairs,” he said, adding that grab rails have been provided to ease the movement of the differently abled.”It was very obvious looking at the ramp that it was built just to show that Railways provide ramps. However, it was not properly planned. This should be a lesson for the Railways in the future to incorporate proper designing or seek help from qualified architects. It was a good decision to remove the ramp as it was risky for differently abled commuters like me,” said Andheri (W)resident Rahul Deshmukh, adding that while it might seem like a small issue, it highlighted the mindset of various authorities when it came to providing facilities for the differently abled.”For instance, WR has provided an elevator only on the west side. More planning and sensitivity is needed when it comes to the differently abled,” he said.

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Differently abled in lurch after removal of Andheri Stn ramp