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   Home >> Library index >> Disabled >> ‘Public places should be disabled-friendly in 6 months’ 
‘Public places should be disabled-friendly in 6 months’ 

Mumbai: In a landmark order, the Bombay high court has directed the Maharashtra government to ensure that all public places and buildings are made disabled friendly in six months. A division bench of Chief Justice Dalveer Bhandari and justice S A Bobde has directed that all existing and new public buildings should be accessible and barrier-free for disabled persons. Courts, hospitals, schools, markets, banks and all government offices will compulsorily have to construct railings, ramps and disabled-friendly toilets. 
The court’s order came on a public interest litigation filed by the ILS Law College Legal Cell at Pune, on behalf of diasbled people. The PIL sought the implementation of the Persons With Disabilites Act, 1995. 
“This is a giant step,’’ said advocate Jamshed Mistry, cousel for ADAPT.” No other state in the country has set a time frame for implementing disabled friendly measures. Disabled persons can now lead a quality independent life’’. 
The judges made it clear that the government would not be given any extensions to the six month time frame set by the court. The matter has now been kept for hearing on June 15, to monitor the progress in implementing the courts orders. 
The court has also asked the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation to file an affidavit on introducing disabled friendly buses in the state. Meanwhile, the judges have asked that Tata Motors to file an affidavit as to how soon it can deliver 30 disabled friendly buses to Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and T r a n s p o r t (BEST). BEST has sought an extension till December 31, 2005 to introduce the 30 low floor buses. “Tata Motors has said it will deliver five special buses every month,” said advocate general Ravi Kadam. “30 buses can be introduced into the fleet in six months,” said Kadam. On March 31, 2004, when the high court directed BEST to buy 30 low-floor buses by July 1, 2004. Despite this, only the prototype was unveiled before the media on Tuesday.