WR has come up with a proposal to revamp toilets at 37 stations on its network. Representational Pic
WR has come up with a proposal to revamp toilets at 37 stations on its network. Representational Pic

Soon you may not have to hold your nose while entering the toilet at a railway station. The Western Railway (WR) authorities have decided to take the smallest of things into account to keep the toilet blocks clean and maintain them over time. They have also decided that of the four toilet blocks in each station, three would be chargeable, while people can use the fourth one for free.

Sources in the WR said the authorities have come up with a proposal to revamp the toilets at the 37 railway stations on the suburban section. The existing guidelines would be tweaked to ensure proper maintenance of the units.

Speaking to mid-day, Divisional Railway Manager (Mumbai), WR, Mukul Jain said, "We sent the proposal to the headquarters last month. Senior officials will take the final call."

Of four blocks, one free
The Central Railway had come up with its 'toilet policy' in the year 2016. The policy mentioned that people would be charged R1 for using urinals at railway stations. It was mainly done to ensure that the money collected was used for maintenance and upkeep of the toilets.

Thereafter, the authorities decided to charge for different uses of the units — Rs 1 for urinals, Rs 5 for toilets and Rs 15 for the bathrooms.

However, the concept did not work out due to opposition from political parties and passenger committees.

The WR authorities are of the opinion that passengers would be happy with the way they have formed the new proposal. "Of the four toilet blocks at a railway station, Rs 1 will be charged for three, while the fourth one will be free," said a WR official.

As per the calculations made by WR officials, at present a contractor earns around Rs 700-800 per month from the toilets at stations. However, they have to spend around Rs 1,000 per toilet block to maintain them.

This is why they often compromise on cleanliness, to ensure that the cost comes down.

The officials believe that if the contractor gets to earn Rs 1 from each person using the urinals, their revenue will go up by five times and hence they would be in a better position to maintain the toilets.

Swachh toilets
Sources said that the administration would focus on minute details like the quality of phenyl used, brand of room fresheners, cleaning of windows and doors, wet-cleaning of glass walls and mirrors, mopping of floors and garbage disposal, to maintain the blocks.

The contractors are expected to maintain all the toilets coming under their purview. They would also have to monitor the staff collecting money and keep an account of their details.