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RPWD Act 2016

#RPDAct2016 – norms for physical infrastructure

The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 (India) is a game changer and aim to eliminate barriers in the lives of people with disabilities. Here is what the act has improve accessibility of physical infrastructure. 

Mandatory observance of accessibility norms
44. (1) No establishment shall be granted permission to build any structure 
if the building plan does not adhere to the rules formulated by the Central 
Government under section 40.

(2) No establishment shall be issued a certificate of completion or allowed 
to take occupation of a building unless it has adhered to the rules 
formulated by the Central Government.

Time limit for making existing infrastructure and premises accessible and 
action for that purpose
45. (1) All existing public buildings shall be made accessible in accordance 
with the rules formulated by the Central Government within a period not 
exceeding five years from the date of notification of such rules:

Provided that the Central Government may grant extension of time to the 
States on a case to case basis for adherence to this provision depending on 
their state of preparedness and other related parameters.

(2) The appropriate Government and the local authorities shall formulate and 
publish an action plan based on prioritisation, for providing accessibility 
in all their buildings and spaces providing essential services such as all 
primary health centres, civil hospitals, schools, railway stations and bus 
stops.
Here is the relevant section from RPD Rules, 2017:

CHAPTER VI: ACCESSIBILITY
15. Rules for Accessibility. — (1) Every establishment shall comply with 
the following standards relating to physical environment, transport and 
information and communication technology, namely:–

(a) standard for public buildings as specified in the Harmonised Guidelines 
and Space Standards for Barrier Free Built Environment for Persons With 
Disabilities and Elderly Persons as issued by the Government of India, 
Ministry of Urban Development in March, 2016;

Thanks to Amiyo Biswas for extracting this specific information on Access India. Let’s spread the word and work towards implementation of RPD Act. 

Overview – The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016

During the winter session of Rajya Sabha and Loksabha (houses in Indian parliament) has passed long pending Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill and named it as The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 [PDF].

This Act of the parliament received assent of the President on The 27th December, 2016.

This is an Act to give effect to United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities [PDF] which was adopted by the United Nations on 13th December, 2006. India happened to be one of the first signatories of this convention but not signed the optional protocol. India has ratified the convention on 1st October, 2007.

The UN Convention has laid down the following principles:

  • Respect for inherent dignity
  • Non-discrimination
  • Full and effective participation in the society
  • Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of diversity and humanity
  • Equality of opportunity
  • Accessibility
  • Equality between men and women
  • Respect for evolving capacities for children with disabilities

Through series of posts, I’ll be writing my interpretation of this Act and my personal opinions how this would benefit people with disabilities and at some instances, I’ll also be discussing the areas of improvements.

Stay tuned!