You can now use toilets at petrol pumps for free in Mumbai | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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You can now use toilets at petrol pumps for free in Mumbai

There are 423 petrol pumps across the city and more than 4,700 across the state

mumbai Updated: Dec 22, 2017 09:40 IST
Sagar Pillai

Finding it difficult to locate a clean public toilet while you are travelling in city? You can now go to a nearby petrol pump and use their restroom, thanks to the Swachh Bharat Mission.

There are 423 petrol pumps across the city and more than 4,700 across the state. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), as part of the implementation of the Centre’s Swachh Bharat Mission, has requested owners of all petrol pump stations to allow the general public to use their toilets for free.

The authority has also asked them to ensure that the toilets are clean and properly maintained. The civic administration has issued a circular in this regards and notified all ward officers to inform the pump owners too.

Civic officials said the move has been initiated in order to ensure more number of toilets for citizens. A senior civic official said, “The owners will also have to display boards at the toilets to inform citizens about the facility. They need to make sure the toilet has water and electricity supply.”

The move will be useful especially for women who do not get toilets or clean public toilets in most parts of the city.

After several meetings with office-bearers and members of the Petrol Dealers’ Association, it was agreed that public would be given access to the toilets. Some of the owners had initially showed strong opposition stating allowing anyone in the toilets of the fuel pumps can be dangerous.

Terming it as a preliminary meeting, Ravi Shinde, president of PDA, said, “We completely oppose the move as there has been no mutual agreement with the civic authority. How can they proceed with such move? Allowing public to use the facilities at fuel pumps can be dangerous.”

Shinde said, “I agree that there should be more toilets for the public, but these are highly sensitive areas. Who will keep a watch on people walking into our toilets and not following the safety measures? Why would any person go to a pay and use toilet of the BMC when he is getting the facility here.”

Vijay Singhal, additional municipal commissioner, told HT, “We have requested the association and they have agreed to it. We can’t force them to implement it and no action can be initiated against them in case of non-compliance.”

Mumtaz Shaikh, Right To Pee activist, said, “Petrol pump owners should not forget that their station is situated on public land. We strongly support this move. The owners of the petrol pump should understand the need for more toilets in the city.”