High Court Orders To Make Pavements In North Campus Disabled Friendly

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The Delhi High Court has directed the government, police and North Delhi Municipal Corporation to take immediate step to make pavements in Delhi University‚Äôs North Campus disabled-friendly within one month while hearing a petition which sought that the campus be made more disabled-friendly. The¬†obstacles include traffic lights, poles, trees and benches and bus stops. The bench noted that the pavements¬†¬†were ‚Äúclearly inaccessible‚Äù to people with disabilities, especially those who were visually impaired,¬† after going through photographs and the NGO‚Äôs Nipman Foundation’s report.

These obstructions were ‚Äúbang in the middle‚Äù of the tactile paths meant for the visually impaired, which could lead to serious injuries. Many of the visually impaired people prefer to walk on the roads rather than these ”misleading” paths. The tiles are also broken at certain key junctures which makes tripping a major hazard and the sewer holes are also at times not properly fixed. The much needed warning signs around the tactile path obstructions are missing all across the campus.

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Ideally the norms of the Indian Road Congress street design guidelines(IRC 103:2012) for pedestrian use need to be followed. The court reprimanded the authorities, due to their “disinterested attitude”.  In its order, the Bench has also directed the Delhi government’s Public Works Department (PWD), the corporation and the police to interact with the Chief Architect (Roads) of the NDMC to come up with a plan for the same. It has also asked the NGO to reinspect the sites after four weeks.

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Multiple civic agencies are haplessly shifting the blame and passing the responsibility which makes this such a grave case.

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Mridul Jain
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