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Friday, 25 December 2015

Gurgaon buildings are not disabled-friendly, survey

A survey of 101 buildings in the Millennium City, including government offices, shopping malls, transport complexes, commercial buildings and hospitals, has declared most almost all of these to be disabled-unfriendly. Among the prominent buildings that failed to qualify as disabled-friendly are Galleria Market, Leisure Valley, Sector 29 HUDA market, General Bus Stand, HUDA City Centre Metro station and the Kingdom of Dreams.

Only two buildings — Ansal Plaza (Palam Vihar) and Ambience Mall — seemed to have adhered to the parameters laid down. Both buildings scored 94 out of 100 marks.

Judged on a scale of 100, all buildings fared poorly with scores less than 42. The survey was conducted jointly by the Red Cross Society, Gurgaon, and the Spastic Society a month ago at the behest of the Social Justice and Empowerment Department. The parameters, which were fixed taking into account 14 basic amenities, included ramps, escalators, platform lifts, stairs, railings, handrails, doors, corridors, restrooms, emergency exits and assistance for the disabled. The survey assigned 14 marks each to ramps and escalators and six marks each to the other parameters. According to the report, very few public and private buildings were found to have disabled-friendly toilets or ramps. Also, they were found lacking wheelchairs and reserved parking lots. Further, none of the toilets were found fitted with disabled-friendly accessories such as handles and western commodes. Public parks, including Leisure Valley, did not offer disabled-friendly amenities.

“Transport facilities for the disabled are very poor. There are no especially-designed cabs available. Metro stations are highly unfriendly for use by the disabled...Construction work is not stopping at HUDA City Centre... Outside the station, three-wheelers leave no space for the wheel chair to move. How can we expect disabled people to use the Metro in such conditions?” the report said. The report added that major markets like Galleria and Super Mart were also not disabled-friendly. In fact, some places did not even have a wheel chair, the report said. It further said that in most of the places surveyed there was no dedicated assistance for the disabled.

The report said that the General Bus Stand has no wheel chair, while the buses are not disabled-friendly. In such a case, travelling in a bus becomes unthinkable for a person with disabilities.

About the Kingdom of Dreams, the report said that the entrance to the auditorium had 20 steps, but there were no railings for support.

“The aim was to assess the level at which Gurgaon has been able to integrate disabled people into society. All these 101 buildings will be made disabled-friendly under a programme of the Union government,” said Mr. Shyam Sunder, Gurgaon General Secretary (Red Cross Society).

Only two buildings — Ansal Plaza (Palam Vihar) and Ambience Mall — seem to have adhered to the laid down parameters.

Source : The Hindu , 21st Dec 2015

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