Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation gets set to make buildings accessible
The Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation is gearing up to make all government buildings in the district accessible and disabled-friendly. They have already completed works for some of the buildings and disability rights groups in the city are glad that their efforts have finally been paid off.
By the end of 2019, Coimbatore promises to present a very different face to residents and visitors. In collaboration with the government of Tamil Nadu, the Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation is working to make all buildings accessible by the end of this year
The Regional Transport Office (RTO) was the first to undergo a transformation and at present, the Commercial Tax Office and District Collectorate are undergoing changes.
This is largely the outcome of efforts by disability rights activist J Swarnalatha, who has been working closely with government officials to make this a reality.
We had already submitted a petition to the corporation asking all the government buildings to be made accessible. After repeated requests and follow ups, they have decided to take action. The Municipal Corporation buildings and Collectorate have already installed wheelchair ramps. They have promised to make all buildings accessible and that is great. When the Accessible India Campaign was launched, the government had allotted funds and a timeframe to complete it. Unfortunately, nothing has been done till date. - J Swarnalatha, Founder, Swarga Foundation.
The Municipal Corporation has allotted funds of ₹1.79 crore for the old building of the Collectorate whereas the renovation works will amount to at least ₹3 crore. ₹2.72 has been allotted for the Commercial Tax Office.
Disability rights groups are asking for more than just ramps. They want facilities for people with visual and orthopaedic disabilities as well. Officials have promised Braille signage, accessible washrooms and tactile floorings.
Disabled people in the city are cheering this initiative that will finally take their needs into consideration.
"It is great to know that they have initiated steps to make spaces accessible and disabled friendly", says Prince Durairaj, a para volleyball player from Coimbatore. "When we would talk to officials about this matter, they would just pass the buck. Toilets in most government buildings have been made disabled-friendly as well. Hopefully, this is going to be a good start for a positive change"