State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (SCPD) Diethono Nakhro accompanied by Aaron Patton, Commandant 1 NAP Bn from the Police Department and Engineers, Police Project inspected the VVIP guest house, Chümoukedima.
DIMAPUR, JANUARY 30 (MExN): An Accessibility Audit Inspection of the newly constructed and inaugurated VVIP Guest house at Chümoukedima was conducted on November 11, 2023 as mandated under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 and standards prescribed by the Harmonised Guidelines and Standards for Universally Accessibility in India 2021.
The inspection which was led by State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (SCPD) Diethono Nakhro and accompanied by Aaron Patton, Commandant 1 NAP Bn from the Police Department and Engineers, Police Project detected severe accessibility shortcomings.
A press statement issued by the SCPD informed that the inspection revealed a series of barriers, starting from the entrance and extending to the doorways, toilet facilities, and the lift, making the facility largely inaccessible for persons with disabilities.
During the inspection, it was detected that the main entrance to the building was inaccessible since ramp facility has not been provided. Ramp access into the building was found constructed at the back of the building with no hand railings and no overhead covering/roof in the alighting area. “This essentially means all persons with disabilities who use assistive aids can enter the building only through the back entrance which is highly discriminatory,” the SCPD observed.
The SCPD also informed that besides the 2 VVIP suites, all doors in the building were found too narrow, making it very difficult or impossible for assistive aid/wheelchair users to enter the rooms. Besides, the doorways of all the available toilets were also too narrow and were constructed at such an angle whereby there3 was no adequate space for people with mobility issues to manoeuvre and enter the toilet.
The SCPD also stated that not a single accessible toilet was available in the entire building. All toilets were found to be completely inaccessible. Entry into all the toilets had barriers in the form of elevated water leakage stoppers; no grab bars/hand railing were installed; level of wash basins in the bathrooms and dining area were too high.
The size of the two elevators/lifts installed in the building was not as per the specifications prescribed under the guidelines. Both doors were also too narrow which not only makes a standard sized wheelchair difficult to fit inside to lifts but also for persons using assistive aids to enter freely, it highlighted. Besides there was no maintenance crew available for the elevators/lifts, it added.
The SCPD further noted that there are no signages or tactile paths for way-finding. No emergency exits were available in and around the building.
Expressing concern over the lack of inclusive infrastructure, the SCPD has made a series of recommendations to be implemented within 3 month time and submit an action taken report to the SCPD Court on the same.
Also stating that since the VVIP guest house as not been officially handed over to the concerned department as the building is not yet completed, the SCPD has directed all necessary renovations and retrofitting must be carried out to make the entire building barrier free and accessible for all citizens as mandated under the Act before handing over.