After MiD DAY reported how public toilet operators are illegally charging people for using urinals, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has instructed them not to take a fee from the public. The civic body has instructed solid waste management department to inquire into the matter and submit a report.
This paper had published a report (Here’s how you’re being loo-ted at free-to-use urinals’) on Wednesday about some toilets in the city collecting money from persons using urinals.
As per BMC circular number 01694 of the solid waste management department dated April 30, 2011, no public toilet should charge men as well as women any fee for using the urinals.
“I have instructed the concerned officials to submit a report soon. If we find that they are charging people, we will warn them first and if they continue, we will take action,” said Prakash Patil, deputy municipal commissioner.
MiD DAY paid a visit to three public toilets, of which attendants at two said they had to charge money to maintain the urinals.
Despite norms dictating otherwise, a board outside the two loos displayed the amount of charges visitors are supposed to shell out. The attendant at the third toilet, near BMC’s new children’s park at Bhulabhai Desai Road, said the money was being collected because the toilet did not use BMC water.
“We use tanker water so we are allowed to charge for urinals,” he said.
“Whether they buy water from private suppliers or use tap water, they cannot charge for urinals. This is the condition in the agreement by which the BMC permits them to run the toilets,” Patil said.
The city has a total of 2,849 public toilets.
Railway authorities said they would take action against contractors if found charging people for using urinals.
Subodh Jain, general manager, Central Railway, said, “There is a system in place to take care of such things provided there is a passenger complaint.”
After MiD DAY’s report, the authorities have asked for a report on the status of such toilets and assured of suitable action against anyone found indulging in the practice.
Spokespersons from the railways said they have forwarded the complaint to the departments concerned and asked for a report.
“We will check the situation at toilets at railway stations. If there are extra charges being imposed on passengers by the contractors, they should be punished.”
The number of toilets in the city