Chandigarh Administration initiates towards 100 per cent disabled-friendly city

Y.S.Rana | March 04, 2019 03:51 PM

CHANDIGARH: If all goes well, Chandigarh can claim to be 100 per cent disabled-friendly city. An idea was advanced by the Governor Punjab and Administrator UT Chandigarh, Mr V.P. Badnore recently and asked the Administration to take step to make Chandigarh 100 per cent disabled-friendly. The Administration swung into action and a meeting was held to work towards 100 per cent disabled-friendly city.  In the meeting, as a first step, was decided to conduct a survey across the city to prepare a list of buildings and places which are not disabled-friendly.

While talking to Mr Bikram Rana, SLO, Chandigarh NSS Cell told that around 700 NSS volunteers were put on job to conduct survey across the city on February 22.  He further revealed that survey has been completed on February 28.  The survey reports were being compiled at GRID, Sector 31, Chandigarh.  Mr Rana was of the opinion that the Administration should align smart city project to the needs of the disabled and also linked to the Start-up initiative to achieve the goal.

Dr Wasim Ahmed, GRID, Sector 31, Chandigarh who is involved in finalization of survey reports when contacted admitted that he has received survey reports which were being compiled. Hopefully, final report would be submitted to the Adviser to the Administrator by next week.   Mr Ahmed further said that the survey revealed a number of fundamental design thinking issues. Ethnogrphy mismatches --are also found where disabled persons find it difficult where foot over bridges do not have elevators or ramps.. More or less most of the buildings and places were not disabled-friendly. From ATMs, banks to shopping centres to government buildings did not fulfill the needs of disabled.

While these may look like minor issues and can be addressed easily, but he thinks this has not been the case because addressing them requires resources, identification of problem, project prioritization and holistic thinking. But despite all this he is confident that it might be a difficult task but no impossible to make city 100 per cent disabled-friendly.  At present there are only four cities across the world which claimed to be 100 per disabled-friendly and they would make all efforts to include Chandigarh in the list. “City is not a historic city which has old buildings. It is a new city and there is every possibility to modify and restructure buildings and places to make 100 per cent disabled-friendly with the help of architects,” he said.
Ahmed asserted that smart city mission has no meaning without the inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in workplace, neighbourhood activities and in social life.  Analytics tools are used to analyse the responses and priorities the needs of disabled and then the government and municipalities can then allocate funds accordingly, he says.

It seems the Administration aware of the issue and rights of persons with disabilities Act and it is beginning to address of their concerns

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