With municipal elections around the corner, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led Delhi government is on a toilet inauguration spree. In December, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal will inaugurate 12 toilet complexes in seven assembly constituencies.
The Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB), which has constructed the complexes, says these have 500 seats and till now AAP government has constructed 5,000 toilet seats. The government wants to add 10,000 more seats before March, the likely date of municipal elections.
“Apart from constructing new toilets, we have focused on repair and upgrade of the existing ones. We have installed taps in 80% of the toilets and regular cleaning is done,” said a DUSIB official.
The toilets have been constructed in Timarpur, Wazirpur, Model Town, Moti Nagar, Matiala, Rajinder Nagar and Jungpura. There are around 100 slum clusters in Delhi without any toilet facility and women in these slums have to walk long distances to attend to nature’s call. In a special series, Hindustan Times had highlighted how lack of toilets increases security hazards and often leads to rapes.
DUSIB plans to construct 2 lakh public toilets across Delhi of which 1.5 lakh will be in slum clusters. According to senior Delhi government officials, one of the major reasons behind the lack of toilet complexes is that most of the slum clusters are not connected to the sewerage system making it difficult to even put up a temporary mobile toilet facility there.
DUSIB has conducted a survey and found there are 259 open defecation spots in Delhi.
As in many areas toilets close by 11pm the residents stopped feeding their children after sunset to prevent nature from calling at night. To address this problem, DUSIB is now installing mobile toilets which will serve the public at night.
There are three types of toilets in the city — individual, which is constructed by different agencies, community, which are in slums and maintained by DUSIB and public toilets, which are managed by civic bodies.