The Chandigarh municipal corporation (MC), it seems, is unable to maintain 200 public toilets in city markets. Having failed to handover public toilets to the market welfare associations for a year, the civic body in May this year, decided to maintain them itself.
During his visit to city markets in March this year, adviser to the UT administrator Vijay Dev had directed the MC to make the public toilets functional. But most of the toilets remain squalid with unbearable stench, rendering them useless.
Of the 200 public toilets in different shopping complexes in the city, 80% are unmanned, while some are non-functional. During a visit to Sectors 18, 19, 34, 35, 36 and 37, most of the public toilets were found in a mess with leaking or dry faucets, poor or no water supply and overflowing pots.
Some toilets those are functional have been occupied by rickshaw-pullers or labourers.
The MC has handed over only eight toilets to the market welfare associations, but their renovation is still awaited.
However, the market associations allege that the MC fails to release the promised `12,500 per toilet a month for maintenance on time.
When contacted, MC chief engineer Mukesh Anand said: “We have floated tenders to maintain public toilets and are hopeful that the work will be allotted soon.” However, nominated councillor Surinder Bahga said: “The matter has been discussed in the House meetings on several occasions, but MC has adopted a lackadaisical attitude for the past one year. Nothing has been done to improve the state of public toilets.”
In a desperate bid to improve the condition of public toilets, the MC had asked the market welfare associations to maintain 86 toilets after the contract of the agency responsible for maintaining them was not renewed in May 2014.
However, only eight market associations have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the municipal corporation to date.
“Market welfare associations are only maintaining eight toilets as most of our associations are not registered. We are also not getting the maintenance cost from the MC on time,” said Charanjiv Singh, president, Chandigarh Beopar Mandal.