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HindustanTimes Sat,25 Oct 2014

Audio traffic signals for differently-abled

Neelam Pandey, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 05, 2013
First Published: 01:13 IST(5/2/2013) | Last Updated: 01:15 IST(5/2/2013)

Crossing main roads in the city will soon become a less daunting task for the differently-abled.

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To help them dodge heavy traffic and cross safely, the Delhi government has asked the agencies concerned to install auditory signals at all traffic signals across the Capital.

Not only this, the social welfare department has also asked the construction agencies to create curb cuts and slopes in the pavements to ensure that wheelchair users have easy access.

Delhi social welfare minister Kiran Walia has directed all the government bodies involved in the construction of roads and buildings to consult the recommendations made in the manual titled “Planning a Barrier Free Environment”.

The manual is complied by the office of chief commissioner for persons with disabilities.

Last month the minister sent a letter to all the departments including the three corporations, Public Works Department (PWD), Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development (DSIIDC) to consult the manual before starting any project such as construction of a building or a road. 

“I am writing to you to bring to your notice the difficulties being faced by disabled persons in accessing schools, banks, shopping complexes, metro stations and ATMs. I shall be grateful if the concerned engineers could be given proper guidance for planning a barrier free environment as per the recommendations in the manual, a copy of which has already been sent to you,” states the letter sent to all the agencies.

Even though experts from Indian Spinal Injuries Centre had released a report in 2001 with appropriate suggestions, they were not implemented.

In tandem with the letter, the social welfare department has directed the chief commissioner, disability, to carry out the suggested measures and conduct a follow-up of the matter.

“We have observed that several public spaces and buildings in the city are not disabled-friendly. Even though bus stops and stations have ramps to aid the differently-abled, we felt that it is important for municipal corporations to ensure that other places such as crossings, roads and buildings should be disabled-friendly as well,” said Kiran Walia.


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