The Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) has identified 40 locations in the Millennium City for constructing public toilets.
The civic body is all set to invite tenders for building these toilets. The residents will not be charged for using the facility, which will be customised according to the location and the expected usage.
The residents of New Gurgaon, however, say they have little to rejoice. They rue that despite the unprecedented scale of development over the past three decades, civic infrastructure has been neglected.
While Gurgaon’s population is around 20 lakh, it has less than 30 public toilets.
“The problem stems from the multiplicity of authorities and the value being accorded to land, not the residents. There are so many malls, upscale neighbourhoods and markets, but where are the toilets? All residents must demand a single authority like Gurgaon development authority,” said Ruchika Sethi Takkar, a citizens’ group activist.
Residents say that even though public conveniences have been planned for the city time and again, with the temporary installation of mobile toilets by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) two years back, they have not been satisfactory.
“The authorities looked at many important factors like maintenance charges but there was no plan on providing accommodation to those who were supposed clean these toilets. As for mobile toilets, where and how will the waste be discharged from the toilets has to be established,” said Harish Capoor, an activist from citizens’ group Clean Gurgaon.
Capoor added that public toilets provided by Sulabh can be a good model for Gurgaon. “We can even have a donation box where people can contribute to the maintenance of the toilets,” he said.
Meanwhile, councillors say they have taken up the issue.
“The installation of mobile toilets did not contribute effectively to the city. When we say that new Gurgaon needs public toilets, officials argue that you have malls in the area with the best toilets and that only those living in panchayat areas need the amenities. It is deplorable that those walking on the streets have no place to relieve themselves. I have asked for at least seven toilets for my ward,” said Rama Rani Rathee, councillor, ward 34.