MCD elections: Lots of talk but public toilets in Delhi remain a problem
Most toilet designs fail to measure up to the city’s requirements. The 600 waterless urinals which were installed at prominent places like Connaught Place, Hauz Khas, Paharganj, Ajmeri Gate and ITO, were found to be unsuitable for the city within two years. The fate of high-end toilets which were built by south corporation is, similarly, undecidedMCD Elections 2017 Updated: Mar 23, 2017 23:50 IST
The construction and management of public toilets in the Capital is in a constant state of trial and error.
From waterless,odourless toilets to eco-friendly ones, the plans look promising but fail on ground. As municipal bodies toy with new schemes, designs and management styles, more public funds are consumed making no difference on ground.
A study by NGO Action Aid in December found that out of 229 toilets surveyed, only 149 had facilities for women. “Most of these women toilets are used by men in the absence of any upkeep. They had missing doors and locks making it impossible for women to use them. Also, toilets constructed in commercial areas were in bigger mess,” said Barsha Chakraborty, campaign manager, Action Aid. According to the report, out of 229 toilets 70% were not clean, 65% had no flush facility, 50% had no water supply, 70% had no signages and almost 70% were not disabled friendly.
Most toilet designs fail to measure up to the city’s requirements. The 600 waterless urinals which were installed at prominent places like Connaught Place, Hauz Khas, Paharganj, Ajmeri Gate and ITO, were found to be unsuitable for the city within two years. The fate of high-end toilets which were built by south corporation is, similarly, undecided.
Schemes introduced for better management of public toilets have also met similar fate. Recently, the MCDs invited private players to run and maintain existing toilet complexes in lieu of ad space. The scheme has failed to make any difference, though corporations continue to be optimistic. “We have handed over 238 toilets to advertisers and very soon their condition will improve,” said a senior official from North Corporation.
Similarly, last week, the South Corporation had announced a project to make washrooms in all hotels, restaurants and eateries accessible to the public from April 1. However, restaurants objected to the proposal clouding the future of the plan. In October, the agency had also announced a scheme in south Delhi, mandating all senior officials to take responsibility of at least one toilet complex in their neighbourhood. “We have assigned toilets to senior officials and hired 300 workers for maintenance work. Also, recently SDMC has repaired 700 toilets and arranged for lights, water etc,” claimed a senior South Corporation official.