More than 80 public toilets across markets in the city have been under lock since Sunday, as the municipal corporation has failed to make arrangements to run these public conveniences.
The operation and maintenance of these toilets was handed over to the MC on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana high court. This was after the contract of Selvel Media Services, the agency maintaining these previously, was not renewed, on administrative grounds.
However, the civic body has no staff to man these toilets.
Even though MC Commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh on Monday moved the request for staff by chief engineer Mukesh Anand for 160 people to the health wing, it is likely to take more than two months before the requisite manpower is sanctioned.
Medical officer in-charge of health-cum-joint commissioner, Rajeev Gupta told HT: “We do not have manpower and cannot spare even a single person to maintain and run toilets. New staff can be provided only by making fresh recruitments and for that we have to float tenders and this will take more than two months.”
Anuj Kumar Sehgal, general secretary of Market Welfare Association, Sector 36 said, “The civic body’s functioning defies logic. They should have extended the contract of the previous agency till they made their own arrangements. Now, the public will be inconvenienced due to the MC’s lack of coordination and planning.”
DOUBLE STANDARDS OF THE MC TO FORE
Even as the MC’s decision to maintain toilets is likely to cause hardships to the residents, it will also cost more to the exchequer. The previous private agency was operating and maintaining the toilets at 10 lakh per month for 12 hours a day, while the MC’s estimates now show that it have to spend 16 lakh per month for a reduced time of 8 hours a day. This is even as the manpower requirement has been reduced to two per toilet, instead of the three the private contractor was maintaining.
The contract was cancelled on the grounds that the agency, Selvel Media Services, failed to provide a detailed break-up of the expenditure of 12,884 per toilet it was incurring per month.