Smart city: 38 toilets in Chandigarh to get sanitary napkin, condom machines
As many as 38 public toilets in Chandigarh will be provided sanitary napkin and condom machines as part of the Smart City Mission.
The toilets, located in Sectors 17, 22, 35 and 43, are being refurbished with modern facilities under the Smart City Mission. The tender to hire a private agency for the ₹3.89-crore project has already been floated.
A senior official, involved in the project planning, said the toilets will also be equipped with modern toilet seats and urinals, shoe cleaners and glossy floors.
“Adequate arrangements for security, electricity and water supply, apart from proper maintenance of the toilet fixtures has also been made,” he said.
What about other toilets?
Chandigarh has nearly 250 public toilets. While 38 of them will be renovated under the Smart City Mission, a major chunk is crying for repair, let alone have adequate facilities.
Most of the toilets remain in a squalid state, reeking of unbearable stench. Leaking plumbing, poor or no water supply and overflowing pots make matters worse. Some of the toilets that are functional have been illegally occupied by rickshaw-pullers or labourers.
Even as councillors repeatedly raise the demand to upgrade public toilets, MC officials have failed to tender the project.
As such, toilets are being managed by the UT public health department and the market welfare associations, that often struggle to maintain them for want of adequate resources and manpower.
Chandigarh also didn’t participate in this year’s Swachh Sundar Shauchalaya Contest, result of which was released on June 20 by the Union ministry of Jal Shakti. Under the contest, organised as part of the Swachh Bharat Mission, states were invited to nominate best three toilets, which were to be adjudged on their aesthetic value.
Unsanitary public toilets were also one of the factors that led to Chandigarh dropping from country’s third cleanest city to the 20th in the 2019 Swachh Survekshan rankings.
Councillor Mahesh Inder Singh said while Smart City initiative for 38 public toilets was appreciable, MC must take similar steps for proper management of all public toilets.