Make Public Transport, Government Offices Accessible for Persons with Disabilities: Delhi HC
Asia-Pacific, November 24 2016
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the authorities to take care of the “comfort” of persons with disabilities at government offices, public transport and metro services in the national capital.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice V K Rao also said that it had already ordered civic agencies to reserve space for the disabled in every parking area across the city and punish errant contractors and attendants.
“We have already issue direction with regard to the public transport and parking space in city for persons with disabilities.
As far as the city, central government offices and public transport including Delhi Metro are concerned, the (central and Delhi) governments will have to give them facilities including smooth access to the area,” it said.
The court, however, could not give any direction to the authorities in absence of details of places where such facilities could be provided.
The court fixed December 9 as the next date of hearing and asked the petitioner, a differently abled rights activist, to point out the places in which such facility is required.
The court’s oral observations were made during hearing of a PIL filed by 29-year-old Nipun Malhotra seeking directions to make the capital’s roads, government offices and public transport friendly for persons with disabilities.
The PIL has alleged that “most public facilities in Delhi, right from public transportation, sidewalks, roads, footpaths to government buildings, all are woefully equipped for the needs of persons with disabilities”.
He has sought a “disability audit” of public transport facilities as well as government buildings in the city.
On this, the court said that audit can only be ordered by the agencies after the petitioner points out the buildings and the areas in which they want the facilities.
The government is expected to ensure non-discrimination in public transport, rail compartments, buses, vessels, aircraft and waiting rooms in such a way as to make them comfortably accessible to persons with disabilities, the petition has said.