Universal Design & Accessibility
Desktop / Plan Review
Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]
What are the accessibility standards for built environment in India?
Harmonized Guidelines and Space Standards for Barrier-Free Built Environment for persons with Disability and Elderly Persons by Ministry of Urban Development. This is based on the standard as laid down in the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.
National Building Code (NBC) 2016 includes provisions/standards for accessibility. Annex-B, Part-3, has special emphasis on accessibility.
What does the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 say regarding built environment?
Section 44 states that no establishment shall be granted permission to build any structure if the building plan does not adhere to standard. The establishment will not be issued a certificate of completion or allowed to take occupation if they do not comply to the standards.
Section 45 states that 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.
In The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 Rules (June 2017), the following standards have been mentioned:
Standards for public buildings: Harmonized 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, February 2016.
Local authorities require formulating and publish an action plan for providing accessibility in all their buildings and spaces that offer essential services -- such as all primary health centres, civil hospitals, schools, railway stations and bus stops.
Section 46 mandates the service providers (including private players) to make the services accessible in 2 years time.
Does the accessibility mandate apply to private buildings as well?
Yes. If the building is used by the public at large, it should be made accessible. The definition of 'public building' implies a government or a private building, used or accessed by the public at large. These building may include buildings used for educational or vocational purposes, workplace, commercial activities, public utilities, religious, cultural, leisure or recreational activities, medical or health services, law enforcement agencies, railway stations or platforms, roadways bus stands or terminus, airports waterways, etc.
The law says that no establishment would be granted permission to build or issued a certificate of completion if they do not adhere to accessibility standards. The term 'establishment' includes private establishments as well. A private establishment, as per the law, can be a company, firm, cooperative or other society, an association, trust, agency, institution, organization, union, factory, etc.