Showing posts with label Barrier Free DDA housing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Barrier Free DDA housing. Show all posts

Thursday, March 14, 2013

MHADA considers reservation for PH in Affordable Housing

Thursday, November 8, 2012

DDA's revision of its Lift Installation Policy still faulty

Dear Colleagues,

In view of problems faced by senior citizens, persons with disabilities and patients residing in upper floors of Delhi Development Authority (DDA) Flats and also in light of legal mandate of The Persons with Disabilities Act (equal opportunities, protection of rights and full participation) Act 1995 and the State's obligation under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities that India has ratified, the DDA has revised its erstwhile policy on Procedure for issue of NOC for installation of lifts in Group housing flats built by DDA to remove the bottlenecks in facilitating ageing in place and barrier free environment in the old residential flats/ group housing societies.

The back ground

A good number of people  who bought the DDA flats  long time ago when were young have acquired age related disabilities, ailments that restrict mobility and family members, children who have difficulty negotiating stairs. The restriction in policy has rendered them prisoners in their own "once happy homes". This is against the right to independent mobility, equal participation, Accessibility in built infrastructure and housing as  mandated by the UNCRPD and the Disability legislation of India.

All the new DDA buildings have the lifts, but earlier the provision of lift wasn't mandatory up to  four-storey buildings.  However, subsequently the DDA had permitted the residents of upper floors who were in favour of installing lift to permit installation subjection to certain condition, and one among them was NOC from ground floor owner.

"I haven't gone out of my house for over two years now due to arthritis since I can not climb stairs and my flat is on first floor" said Ms. Arora, a retired teacher aged 65 and a resident of DDA Flats, Mayapuri, New Delhi.

What changes after the revision in DDA's policy?

With a revision in policy on lift installation in DDA buildings by the Authority, a No Objection Certificate (NOC) is not needed any more from the ground floor owner.  According to the previous policy, the upper floor residents were required to acquire a NOC from all the floor owners to permit them to install a lift in the building.  But a disagreement by the ground floor owner was usually posing a problem for others to implement the concept.

As per the new policy,  the occupants of the upper floors wanting to install lift in their buildings will just need to obtain NOCs from the upper floor occupants,  a recommendation of the lift manufacturing agency on technical convenience, location of the lift and safety criteria and of course a structural safety certificate from a registered architect.  The expense for the lift installation would have to be equally shared by the people owning flats in upper floors.

Why even the revised policy fails to deliver?

However, the catch is, can my right as a person with disability or as a senior citizen with mobility impairments subject to NOCs from the neighbours? Its known that in old age, one gets cranky and many do not get along well with neighbours. In such a case the state has given my absolute right to mobility and independent living  in the hands of non-cooperating neighbours in other words - non state actors!

If the neighbour says I don't need it and I will not pool in the money,  the person who requires the lift due to reduced mobility has to not only foot the entire cost of installation of lift but also pay a certain fee to the DDA (as if it was a luxury!).

Therefore, in my considered opinion, this is still not in tune with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Constitution of India. The State has to come with clearly with plans and implement them without delay for every delay is justice denied. Nothing less than this is acceptable to us as citizens of this country.

Relevant Useful Links:

-- Subhash Chandra Vashishth, Advocate

TAGS: DDA Flats with Elevator, Lifts in DDA buildings, Process of lift installation in DDA Building, Barrier Free DDA housing,  Accessible housing, Barrier Free environment, accessibility in housing, ageing in place, Subhash Vashishth,