The Delhi High Court on Tuesday cleared the legal hurdles in the way of Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s (MCD) ambitious plans to build air-conditioned luxury toilets in major markets across the capital.
The civic agency plans to build 218 such toilets, which would have coffee shops on the first floor and a flower shop adjacent to it, before the Commonwealth Games this October.
The project floated last September withstood judicial scrutiny when Justice R.S. Endlaw dismissed a petition by businessmen from GK-I who opposed the move to acquire 1,200 square feet area in N-block market for the purpose.
Manish Gupta, P.S. Paul and J.S. Kohli, who own commercial properties in the market, contended that the area had been earmarked for parking and a contractor was doing business since 2007.
They argued the project was “in gross violation of Master Plan Delhi 2021” as per which no commercial activities were permissible except in areas specifically earmarked for commercial purpose.
Their petition read, “Nowhere including airport, railway stations any toilet of such huge area is constructed. Obviously the same is being made for commercial exploitation.”
But the judge upheld the MCD counsel’s argument that the Master Plan 2021 had provision for such projects under the head ‘improving public amenities’.
The court was also not inclined to interfere with the project aimed at improving the capital's image before the sporting extravaganza.
The MCD’s counsel said the civic agency was under an obligation to provide better facilities to the public. The cost of constructing one toilet block is estimated to be around Rs 1 crore.
The civic body has already identified spots where the 250 toilet complexes would be built. The short listed areas include Defence Colony, Lajpat Nagar Market, Gulmohar Park, M-Block market, GK-I, PVR Saket, Ambavata Complex, Mehrauli, Green Park Market, Chirag Delhi, Subzi Mandi, Kotla Mubarakpur, Nehru Enclave, Andrews Ganj, Paschim Vihar, Janakpuri, Taj Enclave Road, Paharganj, R K Puram, South Extension Part-I, Ganesh Naga, and Delhi University, where six toilet complexes will be built.
The toilet complexes would be state-of-the-art and as good as those found in 5-star hotels, the MCD has promised.