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All buildings, recreational facilities in Bhubaneshwar to be made disabled-friendly

The government of Odisha plans to provide barrier-free access to persons with disabilities at all buildings and recreational areas in the capital city, Bhubaneshwar.

Until now, the facility was provided only at a few major government buildings and recreational areas. This has now been amended to include all buildings and facilities.

The Odisha government has issued a notice in this regard to all its agencies. The notice states that buildings, including guest houses, police stations, fire stations, and jails are to be made fully accessible for disabled people.

All government departments will have to put up the required infrastructure for disabled people at their own cost. They have to give in a compliance report by December 2018.

This initiative is part of the Accessible India campaign started by the central government. Under this campaign, all state-level local authorities were told to identify and put up infrastructure at public places to provide easy access to disabled people. The facilities to be set up will depend on the need and the number of people who visit the facility.

The Odisha government had identified 10 major places for this in February 2017. It was later changed to 21 facilities.

All the places will have separate facilities for people using wheelchairs and crutches. There will be arrangements made for people who are blind and deaf as well.

The new National Building Code of the central government also emphasizes the need for disabled-friendly infrastructure in all buildings.

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