Access not legally binding, feels Urban Development Joint Secretary!

D.N.I.S. News Network: A.K. Mehta, Joint Secretary, Ministryof Urban Development feels that access is not legally binding, as theDisability Act of 1995 says that ensuring access depends on ‘economiccapacity’! This shocking statement was made by Mehta in a meeting withJaved Abidi, Honorary Director, National Centre for Promotion ofEmployment for Disabled People (N.C.P.E.D.P.) on December 17.

Mehta also disclosed that the Ministry is currently studying theaccess guidelines of various countries to come out with a comprehensiveguideline for India.

D.N.I.S. had earlier carried a story on how the Ministry hadcalled for applications for conducting access audits of public placesin Delhi without fixing any technical criteria. A meeting was alsoconvened by Mehta to ‘harmonise the three guidelines currently in placefor accessibility’. Neither AccessAbility nor N.C.P.E.D.P. were invitedto this meeting. N.C.P.E.D.P. then wrote to Mehta on October 12 on thisissue and submitted a copy of the proposed revisions to the AccessGuidelines in the National Building Code. The letter was not evenacknowledged until Abidi brought this to the notice of Jaipal Reddy,Minister of Urban Development in their meeting on December 4.

DNIS

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