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AIM This paper looks at evaluating the status of the changes proposed in Ministry of Urban Development access audits

in order to make government buildings accessible for differently-abled citizens India. Introduction Census 2001 revealed that over 21 million people in India as suffers from one of the five disabilities visual, movement, speech, mental and hearing. This is equivalent to 2.1% of the population. 1 The Government of India has a vision to make India accessible by 2020. But going by the current laws and policies, the chances look bleak. The various guidelines and models to ensure barrier-free environment by various Central & State Ministries.viz:   Bureau of Indian Standards, National Building Code, 2005 CPWD (Central Public Works Department) guidelines and Space Standards for Barrier Free Built Environment for Disabled and Elderly Persons, 1998  Manual Barrier Free Environment, the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, 2002  Model Building Bye-Laws, Town & Country Planning Organization, 2004

There are guidelines set by MoUD which stands as a model for the local authorities to be followed while formulating the building regulations or building bye-laws. To effective implementation and adoption of building bye-laws by the local authorities, Town & Country Planning Organization (TCPO) has prepared “Model Building Bye-Laws” in the year 2004. ACTS GOVERNING DISABILITY IN INDIA


The National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism.locomotor disability or cerebral palsy. 1999. One of its objectives is. .I. within the limits of their economics capacity and development provide for- (a) Ramps in public buildings. Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act. It affirms the inclusion of the disabled persons of the country in all spheres of life including the built environment. The Persons with Disabilities Act. (c) Braille symbols and auditory signals in elevators or lifts. II. Cerebral Palsy. The appropriate Governments and the local authorities shall. primary health centres and other medical care and rehabilitation institutions.the empowerment of persons with disability to live as independently and fully as possible within and as close to the community to which they belong. It sets out parameters for the same. 3. 2. in the posts identified for each disability.hearing impairment. Chapter XIII of The Persons with Disabilities Act 1995 states that there should be no discrimination towards the differently abled in the built environment. Section 33 of the PWD Act 1995 states 3 per cent reservation of posts in Government establishments in the country for persons with disability of which one persons suffering from 1. (d) Ramps in hospitals. Our government has signed the United Nations Convention on Rights of Person with Disabilities and it came into force in 2008 which ensures universal accessibility and barrier-free environment Section 46. (b) Adaptation of toilets for wheel chair users.Blindness or low vision. 1995 provides guidelines for accessible environment which are not yet incorporated in the Building Laws.

to information and communications. United Nations Convention on Rights of persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). ACCESS AUDITS The chain of work in case of making government building disabled friendly has been found out to be as followsMinistry of Urban Development (MoUD) has appointed Samarthyam to conduct access audits of Central government buildings in Delhi. Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) then sent them to CPWD for implementation. Samarthyam was appointed in order to work towards the plan of the government to make Central buildings in the country disabled friendly by 2009-2011. and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public. Up till now it has audited 45 buildings in total according to a list provided to us by the MoUD. Under the engineering department the electric and the civil department perform their respective jobs. to transportation. to the physical environment. Under CPWD the architect department forwarded drawings for whichever changes apply to them to the Engineering department. audits of 28 buildings are available to the public on the site of Ministry Of Urban Development (MoUD).III. on an equal basis with others. . 2008 India is a signatory of the UNCRPD 2008 which articulates the provision of a completely accessible and barrier free environment for persons with disabilities. including information and communications technologies and systems. The CPWD has to abide by a deadline of 2 years to implement the required changes. They provide the existing aspects in the buildings and define the required changes to make them barrier-free. Out of these. Article 9 on Accessibility expresses the requirement of adequate measures to ensure to persons with disabilities access. both in urban and in rural areas. These audit reports are a comprehensive scrutiny of the buildings. Samarthyam submitted the reports to the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD). The rest is for the Engineering department to implement. For this it signed a MoA to audit 50 Central Government buildings in Delhi.

Patiala House 2.Janpath Bhawan the given sign has been mounted on the wall at appropriate height. getting a permission to access the Prime Minister’s Office was a labourious task and so we had to rule it out for review. Following are the observations(a) PARKING – A designated reserved parking for People with Disabilities (PWDs) has been provided for. The buildings we personally visited and tried to audit were1. And out of the recommended signs. For example.PDF Access Audit of Janpath Bhawan by Samarthyam obtained from the site of Ministry of Urban Development. Bureau of Civil Aviation Security and Ministry of Agriculture to name a few. . The access audit of the building was carried out in April 2010.National Gallery of Modern Art The paper will focus on these 3 buildings as case studies in order to figure out the current status of work done towards the action plan. A. 2 http://urbanindia. An analysis of the building according to the audit report was carried out.We picked out 3 buildings of the list in order to review the status of implementation on the basis of mainly ease of permission to entry and also size of the building.Janpath Bhawan 2 Janpath Bhawan harbours offices of the CPWD service centre (civil).nic. Within these 2 years not much work has been done in the 3 wings of Janpath Bhawan.

.But there is no signage provided from the entrance to the accessible parking space in order to guide to the wherabouts of the parking space. (b) BUILDING SIGNAGE – POINT 1 TO BE CHECKED Wing-wise signage provided on the groundfloor near lifts. (f) INTERNAL WAY FINDING SIGNAGE. (g) ROOM SIGNAGE.The recommended change to provide a warning strip 300mm before and after the steps and lifts has not been implemented. Signage near the stairs has not been placed at an appropriate location.The issue of only few available signages continues to prevail. No Braille signages were found. B Wing The iron channel gate threshold near the lift lobby has been embedded in the ground as has been proposed. font and size. Internal signage absent on Floor I of B-Wing. (e) CORRIDORS AND GENERAL CIRCULATION AREAAs proposed. No Braille signage available. The change for step edges to have bright contrasting colours has not been executed. (B WING POINT PENDING) (d) Handrails have not been extended till the first step and are missing on the wall side and landings. (c) STEP ENTRANCE.The room signage continues to be inconsistent in colour. Many signages are in metal which by the report should be avoided. the fire extinguishers in the 1200 mm corridor have not been mounted next to load bearing pillars and continue to provide a threat to persons with low vision and vision impairment to get hurt from these. The recommended change of providing a warning strip 300mm before and after the first and last step edges has not been implemented. (Difficult to find) Also the provided signage are in English and Hindi but no Braille signage is given.

(l) SIGNAGE FOR TOILETS has not been modified.(h) ORIENTATION CUE FOR ROOM ENTRANCES. (m) The 7th Floor Ministry of Chemical and Fertilizers was closed because of renovation activity so the review of the same was not possible. (n) DRINKING WATER FACILITY The drinking what taps are currently out of reach for the mobility aid users. On the other hand. (j) The proposed unisex toilets have not been built.Call button has not been lowered down to 900mm to allow mobility aid users to access it. Lifts in Middle Wing have not been modified to provide the facilities which have been mentioned above.Foot mats as orienting cue for persons with vision impairment and low vision have not been placed at room and toilet entrances. Warning strip/door mat 300mm before the toilet entrance has not been provided. Threshold in front of the lift on 2nd Floor in B-wing (Ministry of Agriculture) has not been embedded in the ground. No coir or rubber mats found. (k) Middle Wing currently has no Ladies toilet. Both the lifts (B-Wing) had a mirror. It is still mounted on the doors instead of the being mounted on the wall next to door latch side at a height between 1400mm-1600mm. Grab bars were present in the lift with Braille provision. Braille buttons found in one of the two lifts operational in B Wing but the same did not have the provision of audio announcement. the lift without Braille had audio announcement facility. . The step that was to be removed is still in place. (i) LIFTS.

- The tap has not been lowered down so that all operable parts are between 900mm1000mm height. - Leg and knee space has not been provided. . Way finding signage with pictogram has not been provided.