The Delhi High Court today asked the AAP government's Public Works Department (PWD) why it wanted to "waste public money" on a tender to carry out an audit of disabled friendliness of their buildings when an NGO was ready to undertake the exercise free of cost.
The court also observed that not a single building of PWD was disabled friendly at present as according to the department all its buildings would be completely accessible to handicapped persons only in 2019.
It directed the department to file a status report on where all the disability audit was carried out, after award of the contract, and to indicate the steps taken, proposed and the timeline for making its buildings disabled friendly.
Apart from the PWD, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) also faced flak from the bench for not providing a list of its buildings to be audited by NGO Nipman Foundation to ascertain their disabled friendliness despite several orders of the court.
"Don't push the envelope like this. If you continue to wait to give lists, when will you carry out the work to make the buildings disabled friendly," the court said after DDA sought a week's time to furnish the list to the NGO.
The land owning agency was also pulled up for not sending anyone for the training program being carried out by the New Delhi Municipal Council along with the NGO.
"DDA has not even bothered to send anyone to the training. This is extremely shabby. Everything being handed to them on a platter without having to spend a dime and still such apathy. It is shocking to see such state of affairs," the bench said.
With the directions the court listed the matter for further hearing on May 21.
The court was hearing a PIL by 29-year old Nipun Malhotra, who suffers from a locomotor disability, claiming that most public facilities in the national capital were not disabled friendly.
In the petition filed through advocate Jai Dehadrai, Malhotra has sought directions to make the capital's roads, government offices and public transport friendly for the disabled people.
The government is expected to ensure non-discrimination in public transport, rail compartments, buses, vessels, aircraft and waiting rooms in such a way so as to make them comfortably accessible to the physically challenged persons, the petition has said.
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