The Uttarakhand high court has directed all petrol pumps in the state to through open their toilets for use of commuters free of cost. The court also directed petrol pump owners to provide drinking water to commuters free of cost and put up signboards of reasonable size to inform the commuters about the facilities.The high court ruled that district supply officers will be personally liable for non-compliance of its order.A division bench of justices Rajiv Sharma and Lok Pal Singh gave the directions while disposing of a public interest litigation. The order was issued on Tuesday but its copy was made available on Thursday.A letter addressed to the chief justice of the high court by Haridwar-based social activist Gopal Krishna Badola in 2015 highlighting lack of facilities between Saptrishi Checkpost to Jatwada Bridge in Haridwar was treated as a public interest litigation by the court.“According to directions issued by oil companies, petrol pump owners are required to construct public toilets/urinals, however, the owners of the petrol pumps do not permit ordinary commuters to use the toilets/urinals,” the court observed.“At some places, toilets/urinals are also locked and are only permitted to persons who buy petrol from their filling station. This is contrary to the directions issued by the oil companies,” the order said.The high court also directed authorities concerned to construct sufficient number of toilets/urinals between Saptrishi Checkpost to Jatwada Bridge in Haridwar for the use of public at large visiting the town within six months.“It is made clear that charges should not be exorbitant and it should be reasonable. No charges shall be made from children below the age of 12 years and elderly women,” the order said.The state government in its reply apprised the HC that there were no public toilets between Saptrishi Checkpost to Jatwada Bridge. The HC said it can take judicial notice of the fact that public toilets were also not available in majority of roads including national highways throughout Uttarakhand.