The Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) seems to be reluctant to reveal the details of its mobile toilet project, which was shelved abruptly in September last year.
In response to an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, Huda could count only four mobile toilets installed at Tau Devi Lal Park in Sector 22 and failed to recall at least 100 others placed across the city in April last year.
The brief response came after RTI applicant Assem Takyar had sought information about the total number of mobile toilets installed in the city and the amount spent on the purchase of each toilet.
Dissatisfied over Huda's reply, Takyar approached the state information commission, which later directed Huda to provide the necessary information on time.
"…The rest of the information is yet to be provided…. In case these items have not been purchased, clear reply has to be furnished… The appellate authority (Huda administrator) is thus directed to decide the appeal within one month of the receipt of this order and pass a speaking order by affording the appellant an opportunity of hearing," stated the order dated December 4, 2012 by Naresh Gulati, chief information officer, Haryana.
Huda had installed about 100 mobile toilets at public places in April 2012, for which it had been paying about R4, 000 per month as maintenance of every toilet to a private company.
But all these toilets were dismantled in September 2012, a few days ahead of the Indian Ocean Conference. The five-day international conference, in which representatives from 19 countries took part, was concluded on November 2.
Huda had then said that the toilets were removed because they were planning to replace the western-style toilets with Indian ones.
Replying to another RTI application filed by Takyar, Huda said, "Mobile toilets do not exist at present… Does not relate to this office as no payment has been made by this office."
Many residents complained that Huda's mobile toilet project was poorly planned and not hygienic.
"I believe it was an image threat to the administration to have stinking toilets along the side of major roads. It had a sewage disposal problem and water availability problem, besides the regular cleaning,” said Harish Kapoor, a social activist, claiming that he had caught the company men disposing toilet sewage in open.
Huda administrator Parveen Kumar could not be reached for comments on Tuesday.