Necessary provision has to be made in building plan

Every multi-storeyed building and public building in urban areas of Tamil Nadu should provide special facilities for the differently abled.

Among the facilities to be created are sufficient number of toilets for the use of the differently abled depending upon plinth area and units, preferably on the ground floor; ramps; lifts of sufficient size to accommodate wheel chairs and 90-cm-high hand rails with additional hand rails at a height of 75 cm above the finished level of steps for stair cases. Ten per cent of the entire car parking section has to be reserved for them, subject to a minimum of two slots for car parking near the entrance of the buildings. These conditions are part of an order of the Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department, notifying rules regarding the facilities. They came into effect on February 1.

The rules state that while presenting an application to the urban local body concerned for the construction or re-construction of a multi-storeyed building or a public building, necessary provision has to be made in the building plan. In respect of the existing such buildings, a time limit of 180 days (six months) has been prescribed to owners or occupiers of the buildings to establish the facilities. This means that by July 31, the owners or occupiers of the existing buildings should have the facilities in their premises.

The urban local bodies have the powers to ensure that the stipulations have been complied with.

The rules have broadly defined multi-storeyed and public buildings as those having more than two floors where the public have access for any purpose. Fifteen categories have been mentioned as the multi-storeyed and public buildings. They include schools or colleges or universities; hospitals, nursing homes or dispensaries; boarding and lodging houses; choultry or marriage hall; bus stations/terminals; cinema theatre, amusement parks, swimming pools or recreation centres; banks or ATM counters or insurance companies; shopping malls; industrial units carrying the activities of production, manufacturing and institutions of information technology services or radio broadcasting services or television stations. Offices of Central and State governments have also been included.

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