New Delhi: The government has invited suggestions from the public and other stakeholders on guidelines on accessible and inclusive piped water supply for persons with disabilities and other population groups with access challenges. The Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation has prepared draft guidelines to provide inputs to the “Harmonized Guidelines and Space Standards for Barrier Free Built Environment for Persons with Disabilities and Elderly Persons”.
In a notice, the Disabilities Affairs Department said the draft of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Amendment) Rules, 2023 on the Guidelines on Accessible and inclusive piped water supply for persons with disabilities and other population groups with access challenges and Accessibility standards for Community Toilets in Rural Areas are hereby notified, inviting comments from the general public and other stakeholders.
The department has invited objections and suggestions to the draft guidelines by October 30.
The draft document suggests information for designing an accessible and inclusive piped water supply system for persons with disabilities and other population groups with access challenges.
Those include people with temporary access challenges, such as pregnant women or mothers with young children or individuals who are suffering from short-term physical ailments, as they too face similar barriers while accessing drinking water facilities.
The document compares the existing provisions of various guidelines and suggests provisions for an inclusive design of piped drinking water supply at the household, community and institutional levels, including at public offices and places.
Different facilities, such as the anganwadi centres, primary, secondary and residential schools, health and wellness centres, primary and community health centres, civil and district hospitals, panchayat offices and marketplaces, are covered under the guidelines.
The features in the guidelines include baby-friendly water points (height, location, ease of access), handrails or grab bars at drinking water points for those suffering from mobility issues, Braille indication on taps, automatic sensors, and use of adequate colours or tonal contrast between walls for people with low vision or partial blindness.
The guidelines also suggest adjusting the height and design of water points for differently-abled people. The guidelines said,
The height and design of the water point need to be adjusted for children and people with disabilities. For children, the height should be between 500-700 mm and for wheelchair-users, less than 850 mm.
In practice, this will require either two water points set at different heights or one flexible modular unit with two water points.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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