Law Students Issue Legal Notice To Pune Metro Over Lack Of Facilities For Persons Living With Disabilities

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Pune, 13th January 2024: Two first-year law students, Rishan Sarode and Vedang Awale, have issued a legal notice to Pune Metro, accusing metro stations in the city of failing to provide proper facilities for persons living with disabilities. The notice specifically highlights the absence of facilities at Deccan Gymkhana Metro station and Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj Udyan Metro station, raising concerns about the stations’ compliance with disability-friendly standards.

The legal notice, filed through Advocate Shriya Awale, questions the rationale behind the absence of lifts at these metro stations, emphasizing the obligation to make public transportation accessible for individuals with disabilities. The students, both enrolled at Shankarao Chavan Marathwada Law College, assert that the denial of entry to disabled persons or wheelchair users at these metro stations violates fundamental and human rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

During their own experiences traveling on Pune Metro, Rishan and Vedang observed that the lack of disability-friendly infrastructure creates a scenario where disabled individuals are seemingly deprived of their right to use metro trains from specific stations. Despite directives from the Public Works Department urging necessary changes, the Pune Metro Company’s progress in implementing improvements has been notably slow.

Rishan emphasized the need for inclusive planning in developing Pune as a smart city, stressing that equal importance and priority should be given to everyone in the city’s planning process. He announced plans to conduct a comprehensive study and prepare a report on the overall infrastructure facilities required for people living with disabilities in Pune.

Advocate Shriya Awale warned that if Pune Metro fails to address the concerns raised in the legal notice and does not take prompt action, they will pursue legal action to seek justice for people living with disabilities.