Mr. Amlan Dutta, a physically challenged accountant often cannot go to the restaurants on Brigade road with his family as they do not provide the basic amenities for disabled people.
“Whenever my family and I decide to go out for dinner, we cannot go to the restaurants on Brigade road or Church Street. These restaurants do not have proper facilities like wheel ramps, lifts or proper hand rails for the disabled people,” said Mr. Amlan Dutta.
This is the case for many disabled people in Bangalore. Popular restaurants like Pizza Hut, Mc Donald’s, American Corner, Dominoes on Brigade road and Le Rock Pub/ Café on Church Street are not disabled-friendly. Although it ahs been stated in the bye-laws, these restaurants do not provide the basic amenities like ramps, ramps with entrance, proper signage and lifts and toilets for the disabled.
Mr. Rizvi Rehman, Manager of American Corner restaurant said, “hum log aur kya kar sakte hain. Hum unhain asie hi wapas bhej dete hain.” [What else can we do, we just simply return them.] He also added that he was not aware of any such law and that their building was an old building and it is impossible to change anything in the building now.
Ms. Tejas Ashwini, Shift Manager of Pizza hut said, “We have a ground floor seating arrangements for the disabled and when any handicapped person comes we try to help climb the stairs by helping to carry them across the stairs.” She added that at present they didn’t have any future plans to add wheel ramps on their entrance.
Mr. Anish, Restaurant manager of Mac Donald’s said, “we rarely receive any disabled customer but when they come we try to help them up the stairs.” On the subject that whether they were not receiving disabled customers because of the lack in facilities, he said that it might be the case that disabled customers don’t often come to their restaurant. He also added that they didn’t have any special measures or facilities to help the disable people. Mr Murucam Kumar, senior captain of Le Rock café also said, “ we try to help them as much as we can.” He also added that he was not aware of any such law and that they didn’t have any special measures for the disabled people as such.”
According to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagar Palike (BBMP) building bye-laws (2003), all semi-public and public buildings should have space for use of wheel chairs, surface parking, at least one entrance with approach through a ramp, proper signage, lifts and toilets for the convenience of disabled people.
On this issue, Mr. B. M. Tirakanagowda (Joint Director of Town planning said, “although the law states that these buildings should contain these amenities, it does not state how and when these amenities should be carried out. It is for this reason that many public and semi public buildings do not have facilities for disabled people.” he also added, “we are planning to revise the bye-laws. So for this we will consult experts like architects and take their opinion about the issue and incorporate it into the laws. After we revise the bye-laws, whoever comes with a proposal for a semi-public and public building will have to follow the law and incorporate it into the plans.” He added later that revised draft of the bye-laws has already been proposed and will be implemented in the next three to four months.