To make the prime tourist spot of Chandigarh, the Rock Garden, a creation of the genius of Nek Chand, disabled-friendly, the UT Administration has chalked out plans for it. The move will not only make the site accessible to a section of society hitherto denied the privilege because of the landscape of the place, but also take into account a new urban landscape that is inclusive and sensitive to the needs of citizens. The UT Administration has included Rock Garden in the Accessible India Campaign.
Under the plan, all the facilities for barrier-free movement of the differently-abled persons like ramps, tracks for the movement of their tricyles, special railings and public conveniences will be provided on the premises of the Rock Garden. It will also have writings in Braille at some places for the visually challenged and the use of tactile to help the visually and physically disabled perceive things by touch. Sources said around INR 25 lakh will be spent on the project and a tender has been floated in this regard by the Department of Engineering. The UT Administration has already started the work to make all the government buildings accessible to the disabled people. Hundreds of tourists from India and the other countries visit the Rock Garden every day. But in the absence of a barrier-free environment, the disabled tourists find it difficult to enjoy a visit to the famous tourist spot in the city.
The present entrance of the Rock Garden and its interior path is not very friendly for the differently-abled. The small entrance makes it difficult for them to enter easily. One has to pass through a variety of doorways, archways, vestibules, streets and lanes of different scales and dimensions to enjoy the beauty of Rock Garden The work to make all the government buildings disabled-free started after Parimal Rai, Adviser to the UT Administrator, directed the Engineering Department to conduct an accessibility audit of all government buildings. The Engineering Department has finalised projects of over INR 8 crore under which all buildings will be made accessible to the disabled persons. The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1951, provides disabled-friendly and barrier-free environment in public places and government offices.
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