PMC to flush Rs 10.88 crore into ‘best toilet’ plan to raise Swachh Sarvekshan ranking
PUNE Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is spending Rs 10.85 crore on construction of what it aims to have as “best toilets”, in order to retain its lost position in the nation-wide annual sanitation competition, Swachh Sarvekshan.
The local government aims to finish the work by December 15.
Out of 100 cities, Pune slipped from 10th rank in 2018, to 37th in 2019, according to the Swachh Sarvekshan results declared in March.
In 2017, the city was ranked 13th.
Across the city, there will be 310 “best toilets”.
Each of these toilets is going to cost Rs 3,50,000, according to Dnyaneshwar Molak, deputy commissioner, head of solid waste management department of the PMC.
“Across Pune we have 1,224 public toilets. Of them, we are planning to turn 25% i.e., 310 toilets into ‘best toilets’. There are 63 parametres defined by the central government for best toilets. These include basins, urinals, facilities for disabled, and a sanitary napkin dispensor, among others,” said Molak.
The plan for building these “best toilets” will be executed at the ward level. Therefore, the money required is being handed over to ward officials.
“The idea is to provide toilets that one finds when they go to a mall or movies. One such toilet is operational at the Sangam ghat,” said Molak.
Consultant blamed, ODF++ focus now
PMC officials have blamed shoddy paperwork and documentation by a private consultant for the drop in its Swachh Sarvekshan. The private consultantcy cost PMC Rs 34,00,000, according to budget expenditure published by PMC at the end of the past financial year, in April 2019.
The other initiative by PMC that is going to be crucial for the improvment of the ranking is the “open defecation free, plus plus (ODF++)” gradation that it is aiming for. The city already has a ODF plus central government grade, according to Molak. In the coming week, a team from the central government is expected to conduct a visit to verify whether the city has met the sanitation standards prescribed to achieve ODF++ grade. The central government survery for Swachh Sarvekshan 2020 will begin in January.