Centre wants disabled-friendly buildings

To provide a barrier-free environment to differently-able persons in all major public buildings, the Urban Development Ministry has drawn a plan for state governments to make changes in building bylaws to mandatorily include disabled-friendly facilities like access ramps, signages, toilets and Braille signage lift controls in buildings.

To begin with, the Prime Minister’s Office at South Block has already started the process of installing disabled-friendly facilities. Other Central government buildings like Nirman Bhawan, Krishi Bhawan, Udyog Bhawan and Shastri Bhawan in the national capital are expected to follow suit.  

The Urban Development Ministry, which is the nodal ministry for implementing this action plan, wants to make central government buildings in the country disabled-friendly in the  next two years. For this, the ministry has started access audit of around 50 Central government buildings in Delhi, a senior official in the Ministry told Deccan Herald.

The access audit will identify barriers in the buildings for the disabled such as approach, main gates, toilets, lighting, exit, emergency evacuation facilities, parking, building entrance, public dealing areas, signage, lifts, staircase and ramp.

At the same time, the ministry is also holding discussions with state governments to amend their building bylaws to include disabled-friendly facilities while constructing new buildings. To assist state governments, the Centre will soon come out with a common guideline in consultation with experts from IIT-Roorkee and NGOs, said the official.

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