Come April and you won’t have to go looking for public washrooms to relieve yourself after a long day of shopping in a South Delhi market.
Just walk into the nearest restaurant, convey your need to the staff and you will be able to use the well-equipped toilet for a meagre Rs 5.
The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) on Tuesday issued directions to all hotels, restaurants and eateries in its jurisdiction to make their washrooms accessible to the public from April 1.
The move would allow anyone with Rs 5 in hand to access washrooms in even five-star hotels of South Delhi.
According to an SDMC official, the decision has been taken on the advice of lieutenant governor Anil Baijal to explore the possibility of making toilets in restaurants and hotels open to public use.
“We want the hotels and restaurants to adhere to the decision in full spirit rather than wait for the SDMC to enforce it,” said SDMC commissioner Puneet Goel.
“The hotels and restaurants will also need to put up display boards informing the public about the facilities. The managements of these restaurants have been given the discretion to charge up to ~5 per usage to cover their costs towards maintenance and cleaning,” said the corporation official.
The decision will be imposed on all the 4,618 eating outlets, including hotels, which are issued health trade licences by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation.
“These outlets also comprise 600 roadside eateries. However, we assume, they don’t have the provision for washrooms so, the decision doesn’t apply to them,” the official said.
The move is expected to spell relief for women who have a particularly hard time for lack of enough public toilets.
The civic agency is working on the modalities of the move and finalising the amount that can be imposed as penalty on defaulters.
“Since the issuance of health trade licence is at the discretion of the municipal corporation, we will add this point in its list of terms and conditions next month,” said Goel.
There are 580 public urinals and 480 toilets in South Delhi. Out of 480, only 140 can be used by women. These include toilets in Lajpat Nagar, Green Park, Safdarjung Development Area, Rajouri Garden, Bhikaji Cama Place and Nehru place.