Published On : Fri, Mar 10th, 2017

Nagpur HC asks Centre time taken to avail facilities for disabled in city’s govt buildings

Nagpur: Raising its concern over the inconvenience caused to disabled people in reaching government offices, Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court, on Thursday, asked the Centre on time taken to set up facilities like ramps, handrails and parking for the specially-abled persons in 37 government buildings in city.

The poser come after the union Department of Urban Development informed that it had released first instalment for providing all such facilities in city’s buildings under Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan (Accessible India Campaign).
A division bench comprising justice Bhushan Gavai and justice Indira Jain also asked the postmaster general to file reply on affidavit on time taken to complete survey regarding similar facilities to be offered to the handicapped.

The court’s poser came while hearing PIL filed by NGO Indradhanu through president PN Andhare, who is himself disabled, and secretary Prakash Sohoni, praying for directives to the local authorities, including Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), to make efforts to implement by-laws, guidelines and measures to ensure a barrier-free built environment and non-discrimination in transport for the handicapped and senior citizens.

Earlier, petitioners’ counsel Anup Gilda, suggested that portable ramp could be provided at the Shankar Nagar Post Office for the disabled. The judges then asked its head to reply within two weeks.

The petitioners contended that besides NMC, even the banks failed to set up ramps or a guide rail for such persons. Pointing out several lacunae on the roads and footpaths, they claimed that they were laid in such a way that it becomes difficult for both disabled and elderly to move and the encroachment on all the footpaths obstructs their movement.

They said despite Lokayukta’s recommendations, the master transportation plan for the city has no provisions for disabled and there is no monitoring system by which the implementation of the ‘Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016’, can be verified. Additionally, there is no grievance redressal mechanism by which these issues can be resolved. Citing RTI query, they claimed that NMC could not cite even a single government building where facilities are provided for the disabled.