In just about a month after UT adviser Parimal Rai had claimed to make the city disabled-friendly, the administration has identified around 50 buildings for the accessibility audit in the first phase.
For this, an accessibility committee under social welfare department secretary-cum-disability commissioner Bhawna Garg had been formed to identify first 50 buildings across the city. The committee has forwarded the list to the Centre. The other committee members include UT chief engineer Mukesh Anand, chief architect Kapil Setia and representatives of the Institute for Blind and other organisations.
In the first phase, after carrying out the initial survey by visiting the buildings, the committee has now come up with the final list that includes police stations, tourist places, e-Sampark centres and government offices.
The shortlisted buildings are Architecture Centre, Sector 17, Punjab and Haryana high court, the Sector-43 district court, Municipal Corporation building, Sector 17, Beant Singh Memorial, Sector 42, Estate Office and Sector-17 market.
Among the hospital buildings identified are the Sector-16 Government Multi Speciality Hospital, Government Hospital, Sector 45, and Civil Hospital, Sector 22.
Among parks and gardens, the Rock Garden has been added in the list.
Now, Svayam National Centre for Inclusive Environments, an organisation appointed by the Centre, will conduct the accessibility audit of these structures. The organisation, along with the UT engineering wing, will carry out the audit to identify the buildings that are not disabled-friendly. The organisation will identify changes that can be made to make these structures to make them disabled-friendly.
The development is significant as there’s hardly a disabled-friendly government building and educational institute or hospital in Chandigarh, a place where around 14,500 people with different disabilities reside.
As per the provisions in the Persons with Disability Act, 1995, the differently-abled people should be given barrier-free access at all public places.
Disabilities commissioner Bhawna Garg said, “After shortlisting the buildings, we have sent the list to the Centre. A Svayam National Centre team will visit the city from May 10-15 to identify changes that can made in these buildings. The entire project will be completed in a year.” She added people with different disabilities have also been involved to carry out the survey.
The accessibility audit of these 50 buildings will be conducted by Svayam National Centre at the cost of Rs 11.2 lakh. The final report, including videos and photographs of each location, has to be submitted by June 27.