In a clumsy attempt to get all 137 public toilets in the city operational after more than two years, the municipal corporation’s new electronic (online) tender stipulates that male attendants will be manning female toilet blocks also.
This follows directly from the operative part of terms and conditions of the said tender with MC executive engineer Gulshan Kumar who prepared the detailed notice inviting tenders (DNIT) telling HT that the rates offered were for only one attendant.
When queried on how a male attendant will operate and maintain female toilets block, he said, “We will look into the issue. If required, we will deploy female attendants also.”
He added that they had cleared technical criterion for two bidders and soon toilets would be handed over to them.
The tender conditions will, in all probability, also lead to a situation where the toilers will close at 5pm, when in fact the footfall in the market is at its peak.
Sample this: A tender condition states that the contractor is supposed to provide only one attendant in each toilet for 8 hours.
With a toilet opening at around 7am in the morning and closing at around 5pm, the toilets will serve only half the purpose.
As expected, there has been outrage over the issue. Nominated councillor Major DS Sandhu (retd) said, “It is strange that a male attendant will be taking care of female toilet block also. It is surprising that the contractor has been asked to provide only male attendant for both the units. Usually, two attendants maintain toilets in shifts. However, the MC seems to have no basic sense.”
Former Congress mayor Poonam Sharma said, “It seems the MC officials have lost their mind. How can they do this? I will take up the issue with the MC commissioner as we will not tolerate male attendants manning female toilets.”
BJP councillor Rajinder Kaur Rattu said, “It has never happened in history of Chandigarh that male attendant will man female toilets. The officers have not applied their mind before giving out the tender.”