Chandigarh heading to become 100 percent disabled-friendly city

Y.S.Rana | April 30, 2019 06:25 PM

CHANDIGARH: Chandigarh seems to move a step ahead to become hundred per cent disabled-friendly city.  On completion of first phase of audit accessibility for persons with disability, a certificate distribution function for NSS Programme Officers was held in the Conference Hall, GMCH-32 here on Tuesday. Prof B.S Chavan, Director-Principal, GMCH-32, Chandigarh distributed the certificates to NSS programme officers for their outstanding contribution in completing the first phase of audit accessibility survey.

Bikram Rana, State Liaison Officer, NSS Cell, Chandigarh said that all volunteers who were engaged for work would also be given certificates and their certificates were being sent to their respective colleges.

While speaking on the occasion Dr Chavan said that initially he has some reservations but he appreciated NSS programme officers and volunteers who sweltering sun to complete the first phase of audit accessibility work.  He also added that without involvement of NSS volunteers it might not be possible.

The city audit has been carried out on February 22 last. Around 700 NSS volunteers were put on the job. All data has been compiled. The report will be submitted to the Chandigarh Administration in the first week of May, said Dr Wasim Ahmed, GRID, Sector 31, Chandigarh who has compiled the data and giving final touches to the report. He further said that no building in the city was found disabled-friendly and added if there some buildings have ramps these were not as per the prevailing norms.

He further asserted that it might be a difficult task but not impossible for a newly planned city. Chandigarh is not a historic city hence there is every possibility to modify and restructure buildings with the help of architects to make these 100 per cent disabled-friendly, says Dr Wasim.       
For over two decades, provisions in the Persons With Disability Act, 1995, have mandated barrier free access for the differently-abled people but in the city most of the government buildings and public spaces lack facilities for the disabled.

Such an attempt was also made by the Chandigarh Administration in 2016 but it fizzled out because of bureaucratic functioning. As per the official data, there are 23,000 residents with different disabilities.

The UT audit will be carried out in phases under supervision of a committee comprising experts and officials of the administration. First phase has been completed covering all important buildings and public places most frequented by people with disabilities

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