SCPD issues orders to Nagaland Legislative Assembly Complex and High Court Complex to comply to accessibility guidelines

BY | Monday, 6 May, 2024

Following Accessibility Audit inspections conducted at the Nagaland Legislative Assembly Complex, Kohima, on February 14, and High Court Complex at Meriema, Kohima, on March 19, the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (SCPD) Diethono Nakhro has issued Orders to both parties with a number of Recommendations. The State respondents have been given 3 (three) months’ time to comply with the recommendations and submit Action Taken Report to the SCPD Court.

The observations at the Nagaland Legislative Assembly Complex, Kohima include lack of reserved parking spaces available for persons with disabilities (PwDs) and drop off/alighting point for PwDs near the entrance;  narrow and steep ramps and without an overhead roof, there was no ramp connectivity to the visitors’/media gallery inside the Assembly Hall; not a single accessible toilet was found in the entire Complex.

The other lapses include absence of lift connectivity to the visitors’/media gallery inside the Assembly Hall, n maintenance crew available for the elevator/lift, no signages or tactile paths for way-finding. Emergency exits were also not available in and around the Complex. It was also observed that the seats in the Assembly Hall, including the Members’ seats, were fixed/immobile.

At the High Court Complex, it was observed that the two ramps at the main entrance were too narrow and steep making it unsafe for PwDs for whom the facilities are intended to be utilised. The size of the doorways in most of the rooms were observed to be wide and were of sufficient space for PwDs using assistive devices to move with ease.

“However, the entrance to all the Court rooms has door thresholds creating barriers at entry point.Some doors leading to the toilets were narrow and not accessible, especially for wheelchair users,” mentioned the order. Further, provisions for accessible toilets were made available only on the ground floor. However, the gradient of the ramp leading to the toilets were too steep.

In some cases, the passage and doors were too narrow to manoeuvre for PwDs with assistive aids and devices, thereby, making the accessible toilets inaccessible.

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Some toilets had high steps leading to the toilets. Provisions have been made for 2 (two) elevators/lifts to be installed in the Complex, one for the Judges and the other for general public. It was observed that the space provided for installation of the lifts were too small and narrow which would mean that the lifts would not be as per prescribed specifications, thereby making not only a standard sized wheelchair impossible to fit inside but also for those persons using other assistive aids and devices to enter freely.

“The witness stands and the podium areas were completely inaccessible,” detailed the order.

A total of 7 (seven) Quarters for Judges and 1 (one) building for the Bar Association are under construction where it was observed that accessibility standards as specified under the Guidelines are being followed.

Several recommendations were provided to both the parties, following the observations.

According to the press release issued by the Programme Officer, State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities Government of Nagaland, 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. The said Guidelines is a mandatory document to be implemented for all public buildings, both Government as well as private establishments. “Hence, 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, the SCPD said in the Orders, informed the press release.


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