Marina Beach gets its first wooden walkway for persons with disabilities, senior citizens

DMK MLA Udhayanidhi Stalin on Sunday inaugurated a walkway at Marina Beach for the differently abled people and senior citizens. 

The walkway that is 263 meters long and three meters wide connects the Marina beach service road to the sea. It is made of Brazilian wood and enables easy access for senior citizens and people with disabilities. A viewing point has also been constructed that is 10 meters away from the sea shore.

The work on the ramp started in June and Rs 1.14 crore was spent on it. According to the corporation, the ramp made of babool, red maranthi and Brazilian wood is 263m long and three metres wide. Handrails are placed throughout and it will help senior citizens to hold on. Further, access points are provided with every 10m so that people can enter and exit easily. The viewing point is 10m from the sea.

While temporary ramps have been set up since 2016, activists have been demanding a permanent structure for several years. Talks to set up a permanent structure for the benefit of persons with disabilities have been going on since 1998. While it was initially planned to put up the ramp near the Gandhi statue, it was moved to facilitate Metro Rail work in the area.

They added that the construction of the ramp was discussed with activists so that the structure is comfortable for persons with disabilities. While the corporation was considering using geosynthetic material as it would not be damaged by the rains, the activists said wooden ramps are easier for the PwDs and the plan was changed accordingly.

Activists also raised concerns that feature required to ensure the safety of disabled persons, including help booths and accessible toilets are also not ready yet and urged the authorities to address these issues soon.

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