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N.C.P.E.D.P. calls for changes in Draft Delhi Master Plan to make Capital disabled friendly

DNIS News Network -The Delhi Government has been touting its Draft Delhi Master Plan as the grand vision to transform the Capital into a “world class” city by 2021. However, going by the intensity of public and media criticism, the plan is far from perfect, least of all in terms of its attention to the needs of people with disabilities.

National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (N.C.P.E.D.P.) has submitted a set of recommendations to the Delhi Development Authority for making the plan and the Capital friendly to disabled people.

Keeping in view the perspective for Delhi-2021 and new dimensions for urban development, the following suggestions for inclusion in the Master Plan for Delhi have been made by N.C.P.E.D.P.:

Section 11.6.1 under the Urban Design (page 333) should mention that street furniture and signage should be made disabled friendly as provided in the National Building Code.

Section 12.15 on Barrier Free Environment under Transportation should include the following amendments:

1. Concede the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 where the issue has been addressed in greater detail and ensure its implementation.

2. Concept of Universal Design should be adopted for all public spaces, built or open, to cater to needs of the non disabled and disabled people, young and old.

3. The different categories of disability that need to be addressed include the following: Blindness, Low vision, Leprosy cured, Hearing impairment, Locomotor disability, Mental retardation, Mental illness.

4. The Master Plan should specify a time bound schedule for making existing buildings and spaces in Delhi disabled friendly.

In its recommendations, N.C.P.E.D.P. has stressed that disability is a concern for a significant population of the country and that the Master Plan should address disability in a more specific and technical way in all aspects of the Plan, and a disability expert on access must be involved at every stage of planning, design and implementation of the Master Plan.