Showing posts with label Accessibility of Buildings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Accessibility of Buildings. Show all posts

Friday, May 17, 2019

Two months after ‘opening’, Basant Lok market still a patchwork of repairs

Ms. Vibha Sharma | TNN  | May 16, 2019

NEW DELHI: The revamped Basant Lok Market in south Delhi was inaugurated on March 5. And yet, there is hardly a sense of things being all right there. The parking area is yet to be tiled, the two entrances opposite Munirka Marg haven’t been refurbished, the lanes at the back aren’t finished and neither the installing of the tensile umbrella at the open amphitheatre and the fire hydrants nor the construction of the toilet block have been done.

Five days before the model code of conduct kicked in after the announcement of the general elections two months ago, Union minister for housing and urban affairs Hardeep Singh Puri had inaugurated the so-called restored market. The shop owners today claim that progress on the project slowed down after that, leaving over 25% of the planned work pending.

The revamp work began in September 2018 and Delhi Development Authority was to have finished the project by March 2019. “DDA did construct an amphitheatre, reorganised the public spaces and put in tree guards and steel benches, while also providing pedestrian connectivity with Vasant Vihar metro station,” a shop owner said, requesting anonymity. “But the internal lanes next to the PVR complex remain dug up. Likewise, the water tank hasn’t been done nor the surfacing of the parking lot near Munirka Marg.”

Traders also alleged compromises in the quality of work and the non-inclusion of features such as disabled-friendly aids. “The tactile paving and the granite stones have already started eroding, and the construction debris still lying around, giving the market a shoddy look,” grumbled a trader.

A DDA official refuted the allegations. “It’s not true that the pace of work slowed down after the inauguration. In fact, we are making all effort to ensure quality of construction,” he said. “It will take us 3-4 months more to take care of the pending work.  The tensile umbrella, for instance, is 14 metres high and heavy and needs a proper base. That’s why we had to conduct a soil test before its designing and fabrication.”

The official also claimed to have earmarked space for vendors relocated from the main pathways and provided water connection from the tank to the hydrants. “The market, once revamped, will be the first fire-compliant commercial complex in Delhi,” he said.

The official also said that provisions for ramps were made at three places in market after inviting an NGO for to give suggestions for making the market place disabled-friendly. Svayam, the NGO working for uplift of persons with disabilities, however, isn’t happy. Its director Subhash Chandra Vashishth said, “Contrary to its plan for ramps at eight of the 10 entrances, we saw ramps only a couple of locations when we visited the market in March. Also, the verandah outside shops is uneven and could hamper movement of the disabled.”

Vashishth added that Svayam filed complaints about the “irregularities in the project plan” with minister Puri, lieutenant governor Anil Baijal and the chief commissioner for persons with disability. “The court has also taken cognizance of the matter and issued a show cause notice to DDA,” said Vashishth.

The market, constructed in the 1970s, was a popular shopping complex but lost out to the multiplexes and malls that came up in its vicinity. Neglected maintenance and decaying infrastructure led outlets of major brands to down shutters and migrate to the malls at Vasant Kunj and Saket. “In 2008, a newly formed traders’association took up the matter of the market’s restoration problems to the lieutenant governor, and finally Rs 10 crore was allocation for the project,” a shopkeeper disclosed.

Source: Times of India 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

No funds for new projects that don't include accessibility features in buildings - says Finance Minstry

Dear Colleagues,

In a welcome initiative, the Finance Ministry has, in compliance with Section 40 & 44 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016, which are reproduced below,  made it mandatory for all new projects to include accessibility features in the costing of the total project cost when proposals are sent for expenditure finance committee approvals. No funds will be release for projects that don't include accessibility components. 

"40. Accessibility.—The Central Government shall, in consultation with the Chief Commissioner, 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.

44. Mandatory observance of accessibility norms.—(1) No establishment shall be granted permission to build any structure if the building plan does not adhere to the rules formulated by the Central Government under section 40.
(2) No establishment shall be issued a certificate of completion or allowed to take occupation of a building unless it has adhered to the rules formulated by the Central Government"

The department of expenditure has directed all ministries to include “special measures proposed to meet needs of persons with disabilities, including accessibility requirements under the Right of Persons with Disabilities Act” in new construction projects.  The measures would be included in all inter-ministerial consultation notes and in the final expenditure finance committee (EFC) note. In the format of EFC notes for appraisal of schemes, the department of expenditure amended its earlier guidelines to include an additional para. 

This comes into immediate effect. The ministries/ departments are requested to accordingly circulate EFC memos for inter-ministerial consultations after incorporating measures to meet needs of persons with disabilities,” the amended guideline directed. 

The department of empowerment of persons with disabilities (DEPwD) has been pushing for this inclusion for some time. Speaking to ET, DEPwD joint secretary Dolly Chakraborty said, “Any new construction project – like a flyover where pedestrian crossings are being planned or overbridges or a new government building – would now have in-built accessibility features. Harmonised guidelines have been issued to have common features. Now it would be mandatory to include these within the planning stage.” .. This, Chakraborty said, would help to make physical environment more accessible as retrofitting later has always been a financial and design challenge.