SCPD Issues Orders On NLA, High Court Complexes - Eastern Mirror
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Nagaland

SCPD issues orders on NLA, High Court complexes

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By EMN Updated: May 06, 2024 3:05 pm
SCPD issues orders on NLA, High Court complexes
Diethono Nakhro and others during the accessibility audit inspection conducted at the Nagaland Legislative Assembly Complex, Kohima, on February 14.

DIMAPUR — Following accessibility audit inspections conducted at the Nagaland Legislative Assembly Complex, Kohima, on February 14, 2024 and High Court Complex at Meriema, Kohima, on March 19, 2024, State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (SCPD) Diethono Nakhro has issued separate orders to both parties with a number of recommendations.

“The Harmonised Guidelines and Standards for Universal Accessibility in India, 2021, has been issued by the Central Government under the provisions of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, and the said Guidelines is a mandatory document to be implemented for all public buildings, both Government as well as private establishments,” stated a press release issued by the Office of the SCPD.

In the orders dated May 3, the SCPD directed that necessary renovations and retrofitting should be carried out to make the complexes barrier-free and accessible for all citizens as mandated under the RPwD Act.

Recommendations for NLA complex

Parking space: Reserved parking spaces for persons with disabilities (PwDs) must be made available in the parking area; Drop off/alighting point for PwDs must be designated near the main entrance.

Ramps: The ramp at the main public entrance needs an overhead roof for ease of access for PwDs.

Toilets/Utilities: At least one accessible/priority toilet must be provided in all the floors and blocks of the complex; the accessible toilets and utilities must be constructed as per the specifications provided by the Guidelines which include the various heights for installation of washbasins, grab-bars, knee space, faucets, mirror, toilet accessories, type of doors handles, doors size, ramp gradient, emergency bell etc.

Elevator/lift: As and when a second lift is installed, the size must be as per specifications provided under the Guidelines so that persons using wheelchairs and other assistive aids and devices may utilise the service with ease. The specifications must be adhered to in toto.

Signages: Accessible signages and way-finding maps should be made available at strategic points, including raised or tactile letters, high contrast colours, and Braille or tactile symbols; tactile guiding paths and colour contrast on staircases should be provided throughout the building; signage should also be provided for evacuation plans and exit routes in case of emergencies.

Assembly Hall: Some seats in the Assembly Hall, including members’ seats, maybe made disabled friendly by installing seats which are mobile and can be shifted as per need; an accessible pathway must be created to make the Speaker’s box accessible; provisions must be made to make the gallery for media/visitors accessible by providing ramp or installing lift facility; provisions must also be made to make the aisles leading to the respective seats for members in the House accessible; a chair lift may be considered in one of the aisles.

Library: An additional accessible reception counter may be adjoined to theexisting counter to serve the requirements of PwDs.

Recommendations for High Court complex

Parking Space: Reserved parking spaces for persons with disabilities (PwDs) must be made available; drop off/alighting point for PwDs must be designated near the main entrance.

Ramps: The ramps at the main entrance need to be renovated with the right gradient and fixtures.

Toilets/utilities: At least one accessible toilet must be provided in all the floors and blocks of the complex.

Elevator/lift: The size of the lift must be kept in mind so that wheelchair users and persons using other assistive aids and devices may utilise the service with ease.

Signages and accessible pathways: Accessible signages and way-finding maps should be made available at strategic points, including raised or tactile letters, high contrast colours, and Braille or tactile symbols.

Court rooms: The witness stands and the podium areas must be made accessible by removing all barriers and providing ramps where necessary.

Judges quarters and bar association building: At least one judges quarter and the bar association building must be made accessible as per the standards specified under the Guidelines

The SCPD further recommended that training and workshops should be conducted regularly to sensitise officers and staff of both the NLA and High Court towards the needs and requirements of PwDs; workshop for the legislators on disability rights and the provisions of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 and, constitution of a committee to provide ongoing guidance and advice on identification, removal and prevention of barriers to accessibility both the complexes.

The state respondents have been given three months’ time to comply with the recommendations and submit action taken report to the SCPD Court by August 3.

Also read: Nagaland Legislative Assembly complex lacks basic facilities for persons with disabilities

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By EMN Updated: May 06, 2024 3:05:14 pm
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