ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan directed on Thursday that special persons must be facilitated in the future development of the capital while presiding over a meeting of the federal cabinet.
In a post-meeting press conference, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said: “The prime minister directed high-ups of the Capital Development Authority to ensure easy accessibility to special persons in all buildings and public places.”
He recalled that at a previous cabinet meeting it was decided that all buildings in the capital should be made accessible to disabled people.
He said Mr Khan has asked the CDA whether his orders are being followed.
Mr Chaudhry said owners of buildings that do not have disability access should be fined.
Former CDA chairman Kamran Lashari took various measures during his tenure between 2002 and 2008 to facilitate disabled citizens. The authority building ramps on footpaths for wheelchair access to buildings and public places, and special parking spaces were earmarked close to access points for people using wheelchairs. The provision of elevators was also made mandatory in multi-storey buildings.
However most new roads and double roads do not have cuts on pavements and at the median in front of zebra crossings for wheelchairs and even pedestrians to move easily.
While discussing the disposal of public complaints at the prime minister’s level, Mr Chaudhry asked citizens to use the Pakistan Citizens Portal to inform the government of non-compliant buildings so action can be taken against them.
He also announced that the Ministry of Human Rights will be introducing a bill for senior citizens to protect them and provide them with facilities.
He added: “With regards to the recently-launched Sehat Insaf Card scheme, in the next stage artists and journalists will be involved in the scheme.”
“While the government has purchased insurance for poor people in the first stage, in the next stage, salaried persons can also purchase it from the government,’ he said.
Published in Dawn, February 8th, 2019