The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) fears that the current state of many of the public toilets in the city that were constructed with funds from Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs), pose a major health hazard due to ill-maintenance, lack of water and improper waste disposal methods.
Approximately 4,000 such toilets have been constructed without securing proper permissions and clearances and most are not even connected to BMC sewer lines. Waste from these toilets is directed into open drains, causing foul emissions and creating unhygienic conditions.
Corporators, on the other hand, allege that these toilets are not maintained properly as there is acute water shortage. Besides, waste is discharged into open drains because the authority tasked with construction, like MHADA, did not take the necessary permissions from the BMC, and therefore problems have arisen.
The municipal commissioner recently said during a speech that the plan was to rid the city of the sight of people defecating in the open. Standing Committee members claim this could only be possible if a central agency is formed to look after the maintenance of toilets in the city. Standing Committee chairman, Rahul Shewale, said, “There is a need for a proper drainage system for these toilets.
The administration will be sending a letter to the concerned authorities urging that the matter be looked into. In order to ensure the city to become open-defecation free, there is need to have a central agency that can keep a check on all these toilets. This would remove all confusion regarding who maintains the toilets.”
The administration has given assurance that a letter would be sent to the concerned authorities and the matter would be resolved shortly. Rajiv Jalota, additional municipal commissioner (Projects), said, “We will be writing to the concerned MHADA officials regarding this issue soon. We would do everything possible to ensure the matter is resolved.”