Bhubaneswar: Despite the clamouring of the Union government to make government buildings in several parts of the state, including Bhubaneswar, accessible to all, the ground reality is different.
While the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities has mandated to make many government offices accessible to all, especially the differently-abled, the delay in completion of the audit, ground level works and others have derailed the process in the state.
Many government offices are lacking adequate facilities which can ensure a hassle-free access to the differently-abled persons and senior citizens. The Regional Transport Office (RTO) at Chandrashekharpur, the office of the Post Master’s General and many other offices are posing hurdles for the differently-abled.
Under the Accessible India Campaign, the Union government had earmarked 50 government buildings in Bhubaneswar alone to make them accessible within a deadline which was missed several times. Many government offices operating from private buildings also have remained out of the ambit like the RTO-II office at Chandrashekharpur.
However, the state Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SSEPD) department, the nodal department for implementing the scheme, is now said to have planned to include some of these buildings to make them accessible to all.
“We have decided to include the RTO-II building at Chandrashekharpur to make it accessible to all. Although the office functions from a private building, keeping in mind the hassles faced by the differently-abled people we have sent a proposal to the Union government for approval,” an official from the SSEPD department said.
Under the Centre’s Accessible India campaign, not only government buildings, but also the A1, A and B categories of railway stations were to be made totally accessible to persons with disabilities by July 2016. But the deadline seems to have been missed in most of the cases. These categories of railway stations include Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri and many more in Odisha.
Obviously, ground realities portray a different picture against the promises made by the Centre.