The hotel and restaurant associations of south Delhi agreed on Wednesday to open their toilets to women only, for a trial period of one month. The facility will be provided for free to any woman wanting to use the restrooms.
The decision was taken after the South Delhi Municipal Corporation called a meeting with the representatives of prominent associations. It was chaired by SDMC commissioner Puneet Goel.
The members, however, demanded the freedom to restrict entry if someone was found breaching the safety and security of restaurants or misusing the facility.
“We are open to the SDMC’s decision. But there are certain difficulties associated with it and we want the SDMC to address all of them before making it a policy. We are hopeful that during the next meeting, proposed on May 1, 2017, all the concerns of the industry shall be addressed,” said Riyaaz Amlani, president, National Restaurant Association of India.
On March 14, the SDMC issued directions to all hotels, restaurants and eateries in its jurisdiction to make their washrooms accessible to the public from April 1. However, several hotel and restaurant association raised objection to the decision, expressing their security concerns.
“Considering women toilets are not sufficient in numbers, especially at big markets and commercial areas, we agreed to the associations’ decision to allow entry to women only. After one month, we will review the situation and take further decision for extending the facility,” said a senior official from South Corporation.
He added that the decision has been taken on the advice of Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to explore the possibility of making toilets in restaurants and hotels for use of general public.
Preeti Bhardwaj, a representative of Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Association of India, said, “I don’t think any restaurant or hotel denies basic amenities to visitors. But if this would be made a rule, people can misuse it. Moreover, even if a woman uses the washroom in a hotel, we can’t follow her to find out if she is entering the banquets or other restricted areas. So we need some mechanism to keep a check on this.”