Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu today released guidelines for providing "barrier-free" environment for the elderly and persons with disability in government and private buildings, saying the requirements of the two communities need to be addressed.
The objective of issuing the guidelines is to provide easy accessibility and barrier-free environment for the elderly and persons with disabilities in public places and buildings, Naidu said.
"It will help in policy formulation for making cities inclusive where needs (of disabled and elderly persons) are addressed," he said while releasing a report containing the guidelines.
The report titled 'Harmonised guidelines and space standards for barrier free environment for persons with disability and elderly persons' was prepared by Urban Development Ministry.
The Union minister said the guidelines will also guide city authorities while considering projects or developing projects of urban design or public buildings.
Naidu said that the guidelines will support and give thrust to the 'Accessible India Campaign', which seeks to make transport, government buildings, tourist spots, airports, railway stations and internet technology friendly for differently-abled people.
"The guidelines are in sync with the international standards," he said.
Provisions have also been made for fitting retro and upgrading of existing buildings to make them accessible to all sections, he said.
Naidu also released a 'Handbook of Urban Statistics', which he described as the "the first of its type for the Indian urban sector."
"At present, data on various aspects of urbanisation is brought out by different agencies and there is no compendium of statistics on urban development.
"It is imperative to have credible data based on which appropriate urban development policies may be formulated," he said.
The minister said the handbook is a compilation of data on various indicators of Urban India such as demography, employment, transportation, sanitation, housing, socio- economic indicators and public expenditure on urban development.
It also provides information on flagship schemes of Ministry of Urban Development -- Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban), Smart City Mission (SCM), Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), and National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY).
He urged the stakeholders to send their suggestions for improving the future editions of the handbook.