DU asks Chief Minister to build barrier-free footpaths

The Delhi University has requested Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for barrier-free footpaths on the varsity campus for the benefit of disabled people.
The Delhi government has, in turn, directed the Public Works Department to look into the matter.

Bipin Kumar Tiwari, Officer on Special Duty at DU’s Equal Opportunity Cell, said the access audit report conducted by the Samarthyam, an access audit consultant, suggests that pavements, pathways and the various roads to the campus are not pedestrian-friendly, especially for the students with disabilities.

About 1,500 students with various disabilities study in DU, according to the official figure.

“Several students, including visually impaired, have made representation to the university for the dilapidated condition of the roads, pathways and signals,” Tiwari wrote in his letter to the CM on April 24.

As per the audit report, the pavements and pathways on the roads in DU’s North Campus, namely Chhatra Marg, University Road, SGTB Marg and Sudhir Bose Marg, are not access-friendly.

Tiwari rues that the government agencies, such as PWD, Municipal Corporation of Delhi and Delhi Traffic Police, have done little despite repeated requests to improve accessibility on campus.

“The pavements, pathways and the various roads on the campus are very unfriendly particularly for students with disabilities. Recently, on the request of the Equal Opportunity Cell, University of Delhi, the Public Works Department got an access audit done of these roads and footpaths through Samarthyam,” the letter said.

“We are enclosing the access audit report for your kind attention so that as a pilot project the roads and footpaths of University of Delhi area could be made fully barrier-free and accessible for the benefit of persons with disabilities as recommended in the report,” it added.

Accepting the DU’s demand for disabled-friendly campus, the Delhi government last week asked the PWD to ensure improved infrastructure for students with disabilities.

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