A large number of the city’s toilets lack water, electricity and sewage disposal facilities. And this can be blamed on the two agencies that are responsible for the city’s toilets: Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
While there is no policy or roadmap guiding them, the two bodies work with little to no coordination between each other. Add to that the bureaucracy that surrounds the construction of the toilets and you have a recipe for disaster.
Mhada builds most toilets in the city, yet it does not consult the civic body for water and sewage disposal facilities. Unsurprisingly, most of the city’s toilets lack basic facilities . “A conservative estimate is that at least 50% of the 5,371 toilets built in the slums have no facilities,” said a civic official.
Mhada, who builds community toilets for slums, utilises MP and MLA funds to construct toilets. However, the BMC has to be kept in the loop in order to acquire no-objection certificates.
“We built toilets and hand it over to BMC. It is not our responsibility to provide water and electricity,” said AE Rayate, former chief officer Mhada. He said it was the duty of the BMC to provide water and electricity. As per the budget allocated to Mhada for toilets, 10% is reserved for women. However, most of the toilets need to be reconstructed as they lack adequate facilities.
“Sanitation is the state’s responsibility and Mhada cannot wash its hands off it,” he added.