Top
Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
News Updates

No New Public Buildings May Be Constructed/ Sanctioned Without Providing Access For Persons With Disabilities: Madras High Court

Shrutika Pandey
6 July 2021 7:35 AM GMT
No New Public Buildings May Be Constructed/ Sanctioned Without Providing Access For Persons With Disabilities: Madras High Court
x

To make public places disabled-friendly, the Madras High Court directed the Tamil Nadu Government to make sure that no new buildings in the state are constructed or sanctioned without ensuring access for persons with disabilities, including toilets and other facilities."It is imperative that all public buildings, including Court houses, must have access that may be used by persons...

Your free access to Live Law has expired
To read the article, get a premium account.
    Your Subscription Supports Independent Journalism
Subscription starts from
599+GST
(For 6 Months)
Premium account gives you:
  • Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.
  • Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.
Already a subscriber?

To make public places disabled-friendly, the Madras High Court directed the Tamil Nadu Government to make sure that no new buildings in the state are constructed or sanctioned without ensuring access for persons with disabilities, including toilets and other facilities.

"It is imperative that all public buildings, including Court houses, must have access that may be used by persons with disabilities. Toilets must also be installed in public buildings which may be used by persons with disabilities", Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy observed.

Following an earlier order of the Court, the State Government had filed a status report meant to indicate disabled-friendly access in all government buildings and public places. However, the division bench called for a more detailed report, noting that the status report does not indicate whether persons with disabilities can access the public buildings across the state.

The Court also noted that the Public Works Department and its officials should necessarily adhere to the governing statute and the National Building Code [NBC] without any exception.

The order stated,

"The respondents are reminded that no new public buildings may be constructed or sanctioned or planned without providing access for persons with disabilities and ensuring toilets and other facilities for such persons.

The official respondents, particularly the Public Works Department and its officials, should be acquainted with the governing statute and the national building code to ensure that the mandatory instructions therein are adhered to without any exception."
The matter has been posted to September 13.

Rights of Accessibility for People with Disabilities in India

The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, lays that all public spaces, including government buildings, must have the infrastructure to make them accessible to the differently-abled. Under Section 40 of the Act, the Central Government has to formulate rules for persons with disabilities laying down the standards of accessibility for the physical environment, transportation, information and communications, including appropriate technologies and systems, and other facilities and services provided to the public in urban and rural areas. Moreover, Section 45 of the Act requires all public buildings to be made accessible within five years of notification of rules.

The National Building Code (NBC) was revised in 2016, making it mandatory for buildings to be disabled-friendly and inclusive. It emphasizes making buildings friendlier for people with hearing disabilities, visual impairments, heart diseases, and epilepsy.

India is a signatory to Article 9 of the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It suggests that States should take appropriate measures to ensure to persons with disabilities access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, to transportation, to information and communications, including information and communications technologies and systems, and other facilities and services open or provided to the public. These measures, should include the identification and elimination of obstacles and barriers to accessibility, shall apply to, among other things: (a) Buildings, roads, transportation and other indoor and outdoor facilities, including schools, housing, medical facilities and workplaces; (b) Information, communications and other services, including electronic services and emergency service.

Click here to download order

Read Order



Next Story
Share it