You are on page 1of 7

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

1

http://censusindia.gov.in/Census_And_You/disabled_population.aspx

1999.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. One of its objectives is. (c) Braille symbols and auditory signals in elevators or lifts. It sets out parameters for the same. 1995 provides guidelines for accessible environment which are not yet incorporated in the Building Laws.hearing impairment. Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act.I. It affirms the inclusion of the disabled persons of the country in all spheres of life including the built environment.Blindness or low vision. The National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism. II. 2. 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. (b) Adaptation of toilets for wheel chair users. . Chapter XIII of The Persons with Disabilities Act 1995 states that there should be no discrimination towards the differently abled in the built environment. Cerebral Palsy. 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. The appropriate Governments and the local authorities shall. The Persons with Disabilities Act. within the limits of their economics capacity and development provide for- (a) Ramps in public buildings. in the posts identified for each disability. 3. (d) Ramps in hospitals. primary health centres and other medical care and rehabilitation institutions.locomotor disability or cerebral palsy.

to transportation. 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. Up till now it has audited 45 buildings in total according to a list provided to us by the MoUD. both in urban and in rural areas.III. to information and communications. Out of these. The CPWD has to abide by a deadline of 2 years to implement the required changes. For this it signed a MoA to audit 50 Central Government buildings in Delhi. Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) then sent them to CPWD for implementation. Under CPWD the architect department forwarded drawings for whichever changes apply to them to the Engineering department. to the physical environment. on an equal basis with others. United Nations Convention on Rights of persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). Article 9 on Accessibility expresses the requirement of adequate measures to ensure to persons with disabilities access. They provide the existing aspects in the buildings and define the required changes to make them barrier-free. 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. Under the engineering department the electric and the civil department perform their respective jobs. 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. audits of 28 buildings are available to the public on the site of Ministry Of Urban Development (MoUD). and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public. The rest is for the Engineering department to implement. These audit reports are a comprehensive scrutiny of the buildings. Samarthyam submitted the reports to the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD). .

Within these 2 years not much work has been done in the 3 wings of Janpath Bhawan.Patiala House 2.Janpath Bhawan 2 Janpath Bhawan harbours offices of the CPWD service centre (civil).in/programme/ud/Audit_Report/JANPATH_Bhawan. For example. the given sign has been mounted on the wall at appropriate height. Following are the observations(a) PARKING – A designated reserved parking for People with Disabilities (PWDs) has been provided for.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. The access audit of the building was carried out in April 2010. And out of the recommended signs. The buildings we personally visited and tried to audit were1.PDF Access Audit of Janpath Bhawan by Samarthyam obtained from the site of Ministry of Urban Development. 2 http://urbanindia.nic. getting a permission to access the Prime Minister’s Office was a labourious task and so we had to rule it out for review. .Janpath Bhawan 3.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. Bureau of Civil Aviation Security and Ministry of Agriculture to name a few. A. An analysis of the building according to the audit report was carried out.

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

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

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