Women's toilets at petrol pumps demanded

After much hue and cry by various NGOs and social activists over the scarcity of public toilets for women in the city, president of the Pune District Petrol Dealer’s Association Baba Dhumal has taken up the issue and demanded separate toilets for women at various petrol pumps in the city and Pimpri-Chinchwad.

Way to go: A woman fills fuel in her bike at the Bharat Petroleum pump near the RTO yesterday.

Dhumal, who is also a Shiv Sena corporator in Pimpri-Chinchwad, will send letters of request to owners of all 96 petrol pumps in the city to construct women’s toilet on the premises. “It is mandatory to have public toilets at petrol pumps. We have noticed that a majority of the pumps do not have separate toilets for women,” Dhumal said.

He added that taking into consideration the growing women population, including women customer and employees at petrol pumps, it was a sheer necessity to have separate women’s toilet. “I will not only approach all three companies — Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum — with the demand, but will also raise the issue in the next general body meeting of the PCMC,” Dhumal said.

The next meeting of PCMC is scheduled to take place on April 20. Dhumal also held administrative apathy responsible for the scarcity of women public toilets in the city and in Pimpari-Chinchwad.

The pump has a separate toilet  for women employees as well as customers. Pic/Krunal Gosavi

The Shiv Sena city unit has also decided to take up the issue in a more aggressive way. Shiv Sena leader in PMC Ashok Harnawal said that the party was for putting forward the issue and corporators would surely raise the matter in the General Body (GB) meeting.

Senior Shiv Sena leader and MLC Dr Neelam Gorhe said she had raised the issue of scarcity of women public toilets in the city a few days ago in the legislative council. “The issue is very important and our corporators will raise it in front of the standing committee, GB and Women and Child Welfare committee,” Gorhe said.

She added that a few years ago the Shiv Sena made it compulsory for its corporators in Aurangabad to construct a minimum of five women’s toilets in their respective wards.

“The same scheme should be made compulsory in the city. It’s not necessary that only women corporators should fight for the issue. Men should also come forward for this cause,” Gorhe said. The Bharat Petroleum (BP) bunk near RTO is one of the few petrol pumps which has separate toilets for women.

“Considering the number of women employees working at our pump and the women customers visiting, we have already built a separate toilet for them,” M Y Baandal, service provider at BP, said. 

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