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No Respite For Disabled People: CDA Fails To Implement Guidelines For Making Buildings Friendly For PWDs

Islamabad’s top civic agency Capital Development Authority (CDA) has failed to implement the decision of the cabinet division regarding implementation of building codes in all commercial and public buildings for persons with disabilities (PWDs).

According to documents available with Naya Daur, the cabinet division directed CDA to implement all facilities for person with disabilities as per Islamabad Sector Zoning Regulations 2005 (Building Control).

The cabinet division directed CDA to implement certain services and facilities in all public and commercial buildings for special persons.

These include a minimum of one toilet in all commercial and public buildings, apartments/flat buildings other than government employees’ official residences. According to the directions, the toilet shall be of a size which can accommodate a person on a wheelchair and should also be equipped with special fixtures.

Moreover, buildings are supposed to have one minimum elevator in all commercial and public buildings that have more than one floors and residential apartments that have more than four floors.

Buildings, apart from houses, are also obligated to have ramps from the ground to the entrance of a building for easy accessibility through wheelchairs.

A reliable source in the civic agency told Naya Daur that CDA has been directed by the Cabinet division to implement these services and take strict action against those who are not taking practical steps. He further added that the civic agency has only issued notices, but no one was ready to take steps to make their building friendly for persons with disabilities.

According to a survey conducted by the building control wing of the civic agency, a copy of which is available with Naya Daur, only 37 out of the 75 buildings in Mauve and G-5 Administrative Blocks have some services for people with disabilities.

An official, on the condition of anonymity, said, “NADRA, National bank of Pakistan (NBP), NEPRA, NIRC, Radio Pakistan, Foreign Office, NESPAK, OFP, State bank of Pakistan and some other buildings have facilities for persons with disabilities but they are not satisfactory.”

A person from the CDA, who is a part of this process of making buildings friendly for disabled persons, said that the timeframe of 90 days given by the cabinet division for the implementation of the building codes lapsed due to the poor performance of the civic agency. He added that in these 90 days, they have only issued notices but no practical work had been carried out in this regard.

Director Building Control, Faisal Naeem, was contacted repeatedly regarding the lapse of the time limit given by the cabinet division, but he remained unavailable for comments.

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