All schools, colleges, varsities must be disabled-friendly, Odisha education departments told

The Development Commissioner directs the districts to complete retrofitting works by Dec

Published: 14th October 2019 07:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th October 2019 04:53 PM   |  A+A-

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Utkal University in Bhubaneswar. | (Express Photo Services)

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: After missing the deadline of making all government buildings accessible to Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), the State Government has asked the School and Mass Education and Higher Education departments to ensure that all educational institutions are disabled-friendly by end of December.
At a recent high-level meeting of all departments, Development Commissioner Suresh Chandra Mohapatra has directed the districts to complete retrofitting works in all school and college buildings along with the offices within the time frame.

The Commerce and Transport department has also been asked to ensure the implementation of the latest code of practice for Bus Body Design for making all public transport accessible within the stipulated time and report to the Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SSEPD) department.
As per the Supreme Court deadline, all Government buildings in the Capital were to be made fully accessible to PwDs by end of June. Of the 253 buildings initially identified in the city, retrofitting work has been completed in over 70 per cent buildings.

While the Centre had released Rs 17.47 crore for providing accessibility to 50 buildings in the Capital, utilisation certificates (UCs) to the tune of Rs 6.10 crore has been submitted so far.
Besides asking to complete retrofitting work in rest of the buildings, Mohapatra has directed all the executing agencies, including Works department and Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) to submit the UCs on time.

Apart from the Capital, decision has been taken to make all Government buildings fully accessible to PwDs in 10 major cities and towns, Angul, Balasore, Baripada, Balangir, Berhampur, Cuttack, Jharsuguda, Jeypore, Rourkela and Sambalpur by December. The retrofitting of the buildings will be undertaken by the Government with the available budget.

Works department has been asked to prepare the budget and move to the Finance department for special allocation for providing accessibility to all Government buildings in the district headquarters.
Though the National Informatics Centre (NIC) has made 240 websites accessible and Commerce department has provided accessibility to all Government-owned buses, private bus owners have agreed to provide accessibility by 2023.

An official of the SSEPD department said all departments have been asked to make public documents accessible within next one year. “Electronics and IT department will liaise with all departments and provide necessary guidance for making all websites accessible in a time-bound manner,” he added.

As per the direction of the Centre, the SSEPD department has already initiated process for development of mobile apps for receiving grievances of PwDs, monitoring and its redressal.

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