The Delhi High Court today asked the Centre whether there was any law for 'disability audit' of public buildings in the city and asked the authorities to take care of the "comfort" of differently abled persons in government offices, public transport and metro. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Navin Chawla said the "issue is extremely important" and the central government should look into the Delhi's building bylaws and examine whether such provisions are in place or not. It also sought reports from the Centre, Delhi government, civic bodies, colleges, schools, Delhi Metro and the other authorities on 'disability audit' of public buildings in the city. While referring to its earlier order, the bench said it had already directed civic agencies to reserve space for the disabled in parking areas across the city and punish errant contractors and attendants. "Understanding the magnitude of the problem (of the disabled), all authorities to inform us within a week which all buildings here are disabled-friendly," the bench said, adding that the comfort of the differently-abled persons needs to be kept in mind in such places. It issued the direction during the hearing of a PIL filed by 29-year-old Nipun Malhotra seeking directions to make the capital's roads, government offices and public transport friendly for the disabled people. The plea has alleged that "most public facilities", right from public transportation, sidewalks, roads, footpaths to government buildings, were "woefully equipped" to meet the needs of the disabled. He has sought a "disability audit" of public transport facilities as well as government buildings in the city. The government is expected to ensure non-discrimination in public transport, rail compartments, buses, vessels, aircraft and waiting rooms in such a way as to make them comfortably accessible to the physically challenged persons, the petition has said.
Make public places disabled-friendly: HC; Speaks of spl audit
Press Trust of India |