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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Occupy Men's Toilet

As per the numbers of toilet concern very less toilets are available for ladies which not only cause inconvenience to them but also leading to the major problem. The recent occupy men’s toilet protest may seen city if the condition not handled in time.

According to the World Health Organisation, there should be one public toilet for every 100 people. In the city, there is one public toilet for 9,100 people.

Health activist Chetan Gandhi, who has been raising the issue of separate public toilets for women for the past few years, said the PMC had only reserved 63 blocks for public toilets and that too on a temporary basis.

While talking to Cityblog Vrushali Pathak, a student of BMCC college said “it very difficult situation for ladies in the city, we have to search for the hotel for essential activity and have to spend for food if we have to use toilet in hotels. Also malls are the lifesaver at many times. If there are proper numbers of urinals then the problem will be solved. PMC should act on the time otherwise the campaign like Occupy men’s toilet has to conduct.”

Another reason for not using public toilet is the unhygienic condition and unsocial activities in late evening. Most of the toilets lack hygienic condition less use of water and improper cleaning leads to the infection, so many women avoid public toilets. Also in the late evening unsocial element keep using toilets for drinking and smoking purpose which increases unsafe environment at such toilets.

The PMC has been allocating money for women's toilets since 2009 and it even decided to build toilets under the JNNURM. Toilet projects were also mooted on a buy, own and transfer (BOT) basis. But precious little has come of it, and three years on none of the projects have progressed beyond the drawing board.

"In 2009, Rs 60 lakh was allocated for public toilets and this was increased to Rs 1 crore in 2010. It is not the funds but lack of political wills that is responsible for the lack of toilets in the city," said RTI activist Vijay Kumbhar.

Kumbhar has been urging the PMC to expedite plan of constructing urinals on Build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis. Kumbhar had provided plan about this during 2009, talking about this he said "I have provided plan of BOT how can PMC erect the urinals and how can it maintained regularly." He is optimistic that the problem is going too solved soon as Pune Municipal Corporation will take a decision any time in the near future about increasing urinals in the city.

He said, "The city can have urinals at every major bus stops and every couple of kilometers or as per the norms on built operate transfer (BOT) where the urinals will be given to the contractors, who can generate revenue from advertisements on this and maintain that urinals. This is good option because man power in PMC is unable to handle such urinals."

Citizens are also expecting development in the situation from 78 newly elected female corporators but if they failed then campaing will be next option for women. There are some big bus stops and some roads having public urinals but most of them are in a bad condition. Many urinal structures made of fiber glass are now broken and the drainage system has failed which is creating health problems and is being opposed by residents. This opposition by residents is one of the main the reason for not having urinals at many places. Maybe the city can draw inspiration from Delhi where maintenance and cleaning is done as per the guidelines according to a report submitted recently to Delhi High court by a committee which had done survey of public urinals in Delhi.

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