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Procedures for transportation of persons with disabilities simplified in Kazakhstan — Beibut Atamkulov

Wednesday, 02 December 2020, 13:42:23

At a government session chaired by Prime Minister Askar Mamin, during the consideration of the issue of social protection of persons with disabilities, Minister of Industry and Infrastructure Development Beibut Atamkulov made a presentation on providing an accessible environment for persons with disabilities.

At the beginning of his speech, the minister noted that in order to fulfill the instructions of the Head of State Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the ministry is working to improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities everywhere.

“We are taking measures to ensure equal access for all our citizens to infrastructure and social facilities. So, in order to create a ‘barrier-free environment’ for persons with disabilities in settlements, the ministry, jointly with the Ministry of Labor of Kazakhstan approved a Roadmap for the creation of accessible infrastructure development,’’ Atamkulov said.

According to Atamkulov, currently out of 18 approved measures, 12 have been implemented, 6 of them are carried out on an ongoing basis — this is explanatory work, monitoring and control.

Work on the introduction of a barrier-free environment is carried out in the areas of construction, civil aviation, railway transport and road transport, in residential and public buildings, educational and medical institutions.

According to the head of the department, the relevant amendments have been made to the current legislation in the field of architectural, urban planning and construction activities.

The current regulatory framework contains all the necessary requirements to create an enabling environment for persons with disabilities. In particular, requirements have been established for the development of settlements, namely, for parking spaces, pedestrian paths, entrance lobbies, including ramps and stairs, elevators and other lifting devices, and common areas. All residential buildings and objects under construction must comply with the established requirements.

Atamkulov stressed that the standards must be observed at all stages of design and construction. Already operating facilities must be brought in line with the modern requirements of the accessible environment.

Currently, local executive bodies carry out certification of social infrastructure facilities. According to the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population, certification has already been carried out at 34,279 out of the planned 34,509 sites.

“As the monitoring has shown, 24,939 sites (97.9%) have been adapted to the accessible environment. The smallest indicator in the context of regions is noted in East Kazakhstan region (85.7%), Almaty (96.5%) and Mangistau region (97.3%),” the minister said.

Direct implementation and control of compliance with legal requirements is carried out by local executive bodies in the territory entrusted to them. In this regard, akimats need to strengthen control over compliance with the requirements to ensure local barrier-free environments.

As for the field of civil aviation, favorable conditions are also created for servicing passengers with disabilities. The Aviation Administration of Kazakhstan constantly monitors compliance with the standards for the transportation of such persons.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development, Kazakhstan has simplified the procedures for the transportation of persons with disabilities. Thus, the requirements for the provision of a receipt for taking responsibility for their health during the flight and the obligatory accompaniment of persons with disabilities during the flight have been canceled. Also, citizens with disabilities are allowed to carry medicines and other items necessary during the flight in their hand luggage.

Similar work is being done in the field of railway transportation. As Atamkulov reported, by the end of 2022, it is planned to completely solve the problem of the shortage of specialized cars, now the department is faced with the task of increasing the number of compartment cars for transporting persons with disabilities from 98 to 122.

“Today, all trains have wheelchairs, assistance is provided when boarding and disembarking people with limited mobility. All employees of the train crew are trained and experienced in serving people with limited mobility and people with mental disabilities,” the minister added.

In addition, conditions are being created for the preferential purchase of tickets for passenger trains. So, since June of this year, a new service has been introduced on the website bilet.railways.kz for the online issuance of discount tickets for persons with disabilities, which allows you to purchase tickets without leaving your home.

For citizens of all groups of disabilities there is a 50% discount on fares on socially significant routes, and a 70% discount on the cost of a ticket on commercial trains Tulpar-Talgo.

Currently, work is underway to integrate the existing sales system with the database of persons with disabilities by the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The minister also spoke about the compliance with the established requirements of the republic's railway stations. So, according to him, today 99 railway stations of the republic fully meet the requirements for servicing persons with disabilities. And only 7 stations, which are on the balance of akimats of Almaty, Shymkent, Turkistan and Pavlodar regions, do not meet these requirements.

This year, JSC KTZh carried out work on the installation of induction panels and lifting devices for movement on stairs. In general, for the modernization of stations, it is necessary to provide for about 800 million tenge, therefore, akimats must determine the sources and mechanisms of financing.

Compliance monitoring was also carried out at bus stations and bus stations in Kazakhstan. In total, there are 33 bus stations and 114 bus stations in the country.

“According to information from local executive bodies, 32 bus stations and 98 bus stations meet the requirements of accessibility for disabled people. Of the 10,623 buses used on the country's urban routes, only 30% meet the necessary requirements,” added Atamkulov.

According to the work of the regions in this direction, it is reported that 585 buses of domestic production have been purchased this year for the amount of 23.7 billion tenge. They all meet the accessibility requirements.

Among other things, it is reported about the procedure for the provision of free disabled taxi services. Thus, the presence of one taxi for the transportation of wheelchair users for every 30 taxis and 10% of parking spaces for vehicles of persons with disabilities is legally enshrined.

It should be noted that 119 taxi services for the disabled with a fleet of 375 cars are currently operating in the regions.

In general, the ministry has taken measures at the legislative level that comply with the basic principles of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

“Within the framework of import substitution of JSC Tynys, the production of domestic wheelchairs with electric and mechanical drive has been established. The annual production volume is 5 thousand strollers per year, this will allow us to produce 25 thousand strollers by 2025 and fully cover the needs of the domestic market. This year, a contract was signed with the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population for the supply of 1,381. with an electric drive for a total amount of 1.2 billion tenge,” Minister Atamkulov informed.

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