Mumbai civic body’s plan to build 22,770 community toilets gets cold response from bidders
The civic body's plan to build over 22,000 community toilets is facing a delay due to lack of bidders. According to its long-term plan, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will be demolishing old and dilapidated toilets and constructing new multi-storeyed ones over the next three years.
Multiple civic officials confirmed that since BMC floated tenders to invite bids to construct new and improved 22,770 toilet seats in November, very few contractors have bid for the project. Of the 22,770, BMC plans to demolish over 1,600 old toilet seats and rebuild one or two-storey community toilet blocks in their place, which are maintained by local community-based organisations (CBO). On Saturday, two people died after the wall and roof of a community toilet at a chawl collapsed in suburban Bhandup.
Vishwas Shankarwar, deputy municipal commissioner (solid waste management), said, “One reason for the negligible response to the tenders is that most of the community toilets are situated in slum areas. Also, there is not much awareness about this project. So, we have extended the tender period for another 10 days."
Another official of the SWM department said, "The work is expected to begin in three months after 20 different contractors are selected ward-wise." The total cost of the project is Rs500 crore.
Under its new public toilet policy, BMC also will be taking back the pay-and-use public toilets that are unclean, overcharged and misused by the NGOs or adoptees. According to data from BMC, 44 of its 892 public toilets blocks near railway stations, bus stops and so on have been sent show-cause notices.
“If these NGOs do not comply to the notice within 30 days, BMC will take back the pay-and-use toilets and demolish them. New public toilets will be reconstructed but agencies will maintain them at the cost of BMC,” added another official who did not wish to be named.
Meanwhile, following the government’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the civic body is also rushing to meet its target to construct 5,300 new toilets this year. It has already completed 1,662 toilet seats.