BBMP to consider accessibility for differently-abled citizens


All works to be done as per Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) will henceforth ensure that public infrastructure works in the city are disabled-friendly.

In a circular issued recently, BBMP Commissioner B.H. Anil Kumar has directed civic officials to ensure that all civic works, especially repair work on streets, roads and footpaths, are taken up as per principles under Section 3 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016. This is after the High Court of Karnataka, while hearing a writ petition on potholes, observed that the civic body should inform persons with disability, especially the visually impaired about repair work in progress on streets and footpaths.

The circular, a copy of which is with The Hindu, also states that the terms and conditions laid down in the Act must be adhered to during repair work, besides being included in the tender document. The circular directs all zonal chief engineers and engineers of projects and road infrastructure departments in the BBMP to strictly adhere to these guidelines. Stringent action and contempt proceedings will be initiated against those who fail to adhere to the guidelines, it warns.

V.S. Basavaraj, State Commissioner, Rights of Persons with Disabilities, welcomed the move and said the Act clearly lays down guidelines for accessibility of public places for persons with disabilities. “It is the responsibility of local bodies to ensure accessibility in public places. There are guidelines that have been issued even by the Union government with regard to road repair work. The BBMP is, therefore, bound by law to adhere to these guidelines,” he said.

A.L. Janardhan, Deputy Director, Association of Persons with Disability, and member, State Access Audit Committee, said the BBMP should consult the State Commissioner for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and various organisations working with differently-abled in the project planning stages.

“Many projects, including TenderSURE, are not really disabled-friendly. For instance, the bollards on pavements on roads developed under TenderSURE impede movement of wheelchairs, while skywalks that are not equipped with elevators cannot be used by everyone,” he said. Mr. Basavaraj also said the department was in touch with the civic body over accessibility issues, regularly. “Recently, we received complaints about lack of access for persons with disability in K.R. Market. After we wrote to BBMP, the officials met us with the detailed project report for the market revamp,” he added.

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 1:43:58 AM |

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