Relief as Chandigarh approves split ACs for specially-abled group home


The Chandigarh administration has, at last, given the green light for the installation of split air-conditioners in the upcoming group home building in Sector 31, intended to accommodate specially-abled individuals.
This decision comes as a relief to the parents of individuals with disabilities who had to engage in a year-long battle with the administration. Initially, their pleas to have split ACs installed in the facility were denied.
The UT administration’s initial refusal to include air conditioning in the multi-crore building was a source of frustration for the parents, who argued that it is vital for individuals with mental disabilities to have protection from heat. They found the initial decision unjust.
Confirming this positive development, Palika Arora, Director of the Social Welfare department, informed the media, “All rooms will have provisions for split ACs, and the tariffs will vary based on the quality of the AC being installed.”
The parents, many of whom are in their late 70s and 80s, had even held multiple meetings with senior officials, but their efforts were in vain as the officials initially refused to install ACs.
The facility, which is approximately 80 per cent complete, has the capacity to house up to 90 adult inmates.
Chandigarh Chief Engineer C.B. Ojha stated, “There was a recent meeting of the group home society, and the social welfare department has decided to install split ACs in the building.” The specific details, including the total number of split ACs and the timeline for installation after the tender process, are currently being worked out by the officials.
Many parents had also called for an inquiry into why split ACs (which are standard in new government buildings) were not included in the initial design and tender. The foundation stone for the Group Home was laid in August of the previous year.
The parents expressed their dismay at what they viewed as an “insensitive approach.” They pointed out that the government had allocated significant funds for “palatial resort-like offices with terrace gardens” for UT bureaucrats in Sector 9, just a few kilometres away.