| ‘Public places should
be disabled-friendly in 6 months’
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
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
“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
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.