14 December, 2019
Syllabus subtopic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Prelims and Mains focus: about Accessible India Campaign and its significance, steps taken for its implementation
News: The deadline for the government’s Accessible India campaign that aims at making public spaces friendly for persons with disabilities has been extended due to “slow progress,” the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has informed the Lok Sabha.
Due to slow progress, revised deadlines have been extended to March 2020.
Steps taken and challenges
Statewise details of the facilities for the disabled at railway stations were not maintained, but the Indian Railways was committed to making its stations accessible.
Shortterm facilities like standard ramps, nonslippery walkways, signages, disabledfriendly toilets and help desks are included in the plan.
In the longterm, inter-platform transfer and engraving on the edges of the platforms are proposed. Regarding Central government buildings maintained by the Central Public Works Department, 211 CPWD buildings had been made accessible. In all, a total of ?354.45 crore had been released for making 1,058 public buildings accessible around the country, the reply said.
Under the Rights of PwD Act, 2016, all existing and new public buildings have to follow the accessibility standards notified on June 15, 2017. The existing buildings were given five years to comply.
The original deadlines under the Accessible India campaign were July 2016 for conducting an accessibility audit of 2550 of the most important government buildings in 50 cities and making them completely accessible and March 2018.
Source: The Hindu
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