Volume 3 Issue 22 - November 15, 2005

Delhi Building Byelaws (Amendment) Bill-2005 referred to Union Home Ministry

D.N.I.S. News Network The much-debated Delhi Building Byelaws (Amendment) Bill-2005 has been referred to the Union Home Ministry by the Delhi Assembly to seek comments and opinions on the same.

On 28 November, the Delhi Cabinet heard a presentation by Municipal Commissioner of Delhi Rakesh Mehta and experts on the field on the need to change laws, keeping in view the changing needs and demands of the city.

It is important to stress here that the revision of the 22-year-old Building Byelaws has been at the centre of criticism from the disability sector for almost complete neglect of focus on universal design and access for people with disability. In the first phase of the invitation of suggestions from the public on the proposed byelaws, National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People had presented recommendations to make the Building Byelaws disabled-friendly.

Following this, Mehta had declared to the press that all newly constructed building would have to meet standards of access for certification. It is now time to test the veracity of these claims. For the time being, the officials are keeping the cards close to their chest as they refused to answer any questions on the contents of the Bill.

According to media reports, during the Cabinet meeting, Mehta called for the need for progressive laws for buildings in the Capital. He also stressed that the recent earthquake on October 8 in Kashmir, highlighted the need to have strict mechanism to ensure safe structures. According to Mehta, this could be done by involving professional architects, structural engineers and others in the urban development process and holding them accountable for lapses.

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