Buildings to be audited for access

A total of 74 government buildings across Chennai, housing important public offices, including government offices, State-run hospitals, colleges and schools will be put through an access audit to check whether they are barrier-free.

The reports of the access audit are expected within a month.

“As per an order of the Supreme Court, at least 50% of the government buildings housing important government offices have to be made differently-abled friendly by December 2019. Though it is the duty of the departments to access audit them, as we are the body concerned, we are conducting the access audit,” State Commissioner for Differently-abled V. Arun Roy said.

Selection process

After a selection process, professional bodies have been chosen to conduct the access audit on these 74 buildings and their reports are expected within a month.

“Based on the audit reports, we will make recommendations to the department concerned as to what changes have to be made,” Mr. Roy said.

The Secretariat Building and buildings housing the Greater Chennai Corporation, Stanley Hospital, Government Royapettah Hospital, Government Multi Super Specialty Hospital, Rajiv Gandhi General Hospital, Queen Mary’s College, Anna University, Dr. Ambedkar Law College, Dr. M.G.R. Medical University, University of Madras, the office of the Commissioner of Police, Connemara Library, the DGP office and the CMDA office are among the 74 buildings that will be audited.

S. Nambu Rajan, general secretary of Tamil Nadu Association for the Rights of All Types of Differently Abled Caregivers, was however sceptical about the audit. Though the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 placed importance on access for the disabled, access remains a challenge at several government offices.

“For instance, the office of the Commissioner of Police in Egmore is still not differently-abled friendly. It is not as if we are against the audit but it has to turn into action,” he said.

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