ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) main offices are inaccessible to special persons as they do not offer any special lift or ramp to them, but the authority wants owners of buildings in Islamabad to ensure such facilities.

The CDA’s building directorate had asked the commercial and public building operators to provide facilities to special persons, including accessibility to designated toilets.

However, Dawn noticed that there was no accessibility facility for special persons in both CDA and Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) buildings.

The offices of CDA chairman and all members are located on the first floor of the building, which is inaccessible to special persons.

There is no ramp for special persons for offices located on the first floor. However, there are two ramps for special persons on the ground floor of the chairman secretariat building.

The mayor office and most of the other buildings of MCI also do not have ramps for special persons.

Similarly, there is no special toilet facility in all buildings of CDA and MCI.

On the other hand, the CDA through a letter and a public notice in June this year said that under Islamabad Residential Sectors Zoning Regulations 2005, provision of facilities to special persons was mandatory in all public and commercial building.

“Minimum one toilet facility should be provided in all commercial, public buildings other than government employees’ residence,” the sources said.

The CDA’s directive further said that all commercial and public buildings of more than three storeys and residential apartments, flats of more than four storeys should have at least one lift of a size which can accommodate a wheel chair.

“Ramps from footpath level to entrance of the building shall be mandatory for all buildings other than dwelling houses,” read the CDA’s public notice.

When contacted, CDA spokesperson Syed Safdar Ali said since the authority had two-storey building there is no facility of lift to reach the first floor. However, he said there are two ramps on the ground floor of the main building.

“We will look into this issue to ensure accessibility of special persons to all offices,” he said.

Mayor Sheikh Anser Aziz said his office had no provision of lift as it was located in an old building in G-6.

“We have ramps for first floor. If a special person wants to meet me, I meet him in a room on the ground floor, but I do agree there should be ramp facility for special persons.

Published in Dawn, October 27th, 2019