Harmonised Guidelines and Standards for Universal Accessibility in India 2021

Dear Colleagues,

Happy to share with you the notification of the updated "Harmonised Guidelines and Standards for Universal Accessibility in India 2021' by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, vide notification number O-17/4/2022-works-3-UD dated the 18th October, 2022, as amended from time to time. 

The previous document on the subject titled,  "Harmonized Guidelines & Space Standards for Barrier Free Built Environment for Persons with Disabilities & Elderly Persons" issued by the then Ministry of Urban Development, Govt. of India, Feb 2016 that we had the opportunity to contribute to, stands replaced by the latest version of 2021. By this notification sub para 15(1)(a) of the RPWD rules is replaced by Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Amendment) Rules 2023 issued vide G.S.R. 413(E) dated 05 June 2023. 

The Guideline is issued under section 15 of the the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Rules 2017 as a mandatory document to be implemented for all public building which simply means all built environment open to public. This would be further clear from the definitions of the public building and facilities and services as defined in Section 2 (w) and (x) of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016, reproduced below:-

(w) "public building" means a Government or private building, used or accessed by the public at large, including a building used for educational or vocational purposes, workplace, commercial activities, public utilities, religious, cultural, leisure or recreational activities, medical or health services, law enforcement agencies, reformatories or judicial for as, railway stations or platforms, roadways bus stands or terminus, airports or waterways;

(x) "public facilities and services" includes all forms of delivery of services to the public at large, including housing, educational and vocational trainings, employment and career advancement, shopping or marketing, religious, cultural, leisure or recreational, medical, health and rehabilitation, banking, finance and insurance, communication, postal and information, access to justice, public utilities, transportation; 

The name of the new accessibility guideline itself indicates that we are moving towards the objective of universal accessibility rather than  accessibility for only persons with disabilities. 

These guidelines are mandatory for all establishments (both govt. establishments and private establishments) as per the Act. You may see the term establishment defined in the RPWD Act 2016 in Section 2(i), 2(k) and 2(v) here.

Read or download the new guidelines embedded below:  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for posting your comment. The website has a mechanism of allowing pre-approved comments to avoid spam. The comment if passing the spam test would be live in 24 hours.