Mumbai: The Bombay high court Thursday directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to give approvals to commercial buildings only after ensuring that the buildings had incorporated various facilities for differently-abled persons.
A division bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Bharati Dangre was hearing two petitions filed by interior designer Nisha Jamvwal and advocate Abha Singh, raising concerns over the lack of wheelchair access and other facilities required for differently-abled persons in some commercial buildings. During the hearing, the court also acknowledged the lack of ramps and other facilities inside such building premises. It said that there was a need to make them friendlier for differently-abled persons.
Chief Justice Nandrajog said, “When the civic body gives sanction to such buildings, it should make it mandatory for them to be constructed in such a manner that they are easily accessible to the differently-abled, too. Before granting the Occupancy Certificate (OC), you (BMC) should inspect the building and see if this has been done.”
Advocate Abha Singh submitted a list of 15 buildings in south and central Mumbai, including plush hotels like the Oberoi (Nariman Point) and Four Seasons, which lack facilities for the differently-abled. The list also included the National Gallery of Modern Art, in addition to some malls and theatres. The bench asked the civic body to carry out inspection of these buildings and submit a report on August 26.