Petition moved in Bombay High Court asking for all buildings in Mumbai to be made disabled-friendly, or fined

Well-known interior designer and socialite, Nisha Jamvwal and advocate Abha Singh have moved the Bombay High Court over the lack of wheelchair access and other facilities for disabled people in buildings in Mumbai. This includes five-star hotels, malls, theatres, restaurants and other commercial premises.

The court has ordered the Maharashtra government and the municipal authorities to make their stand clear in three weeks.

The petition says that Development Control Regulations and other laws make it mandatory for public and commercial buildings to be disabled-friendly. The Disabilities Act even empowers civic authorities to deny completion certificates to establishments if they fail to provide such facilities.

The petition points out that establishments in Mumbai have been issued completion certificates and are allowed to function despite not setting up accessible facilities.

The Maharashtra Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni confirmed to the court that the building code did require special amenities to be provided for disabled people.

The petitioners have asked that establishments and toilets should have doors at least 30 inches wide to let wheelchairs pass. They also claimed that they have approached several government and private establishments asking them to build ramps and other facilities so that disabled people can use them independently. However, their requests were ignored.

The petitioners have asked the court to direct public and private establishments across the state to set up ramps and wheelchair-friendly toilets within three months. Places that do not follow these orders should be fined. They have also sought directions to the government to make public transport easily accessible for people with disabilities.

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