Under fire from the people over locking of more than 80 public toilets in various city markets since May 11, the municipal corporation of Chandigarh decided to hand them over to the market welfare associations on temporary basis, till they formulate any policy.
Surprisingly, even after four days, 76 toilets are still locked, causing a great inconvenience to the public. The decision was taken after the members of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal met the MC commissioner and asked him to sort out the issue. Of all the public toilets, the market associations on Wednesday took over four toilets in Sectors 11, 23, 24 and 44 for maintenance and running its operations.
In the order issued, the MC has stated that public toilets will be given to associations on temporary basis, till it comes up with any policy.
MC’s sub-divisional engineer Kuldeep Singh said, “We are contacting various market welfare associations and four associations came forward on Wednesday. We are hopeful that the remaining toilets will be opened soon as many associations have shown interest in taking over them.”
Speaking to HT, president, Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, Charanjiv Singh said, “We have decided to take over the toilets to avoid inconvenience to the public and shopkeepers.”
As per the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976 (as applicable in Chandigarh), clause 285 states that the civic body should keep the toilets running and in a good condition.
The MC on May 11 locked these toilets across the city markets after the Punjab and Haryana high court directed the agency, which was operating and maintaining them, to hand them over to the MC. Though the MC chief engineer submitted an affidavit in the high court recently stating that they are capable of running public toilets on their own, nothing has been done.
Joint commissioner Rajeev Gupta had also shown helplessness to provide 160 persons to maintain these toilets.