PMC to use public toilet land for housing facility
Municipal Commissioner claims he is not violating any norms and that there is no shortage of toilets in the city
Even as the city’s public toilets are in deplorable condition, the civic body has decided to demolish a public toilet and to utilise the land to create a housing facility for conservancy staff. The decision was taken after the Standing Committee of the PMC shortlisted the tender for the area of public toilet at Bibabewadi for Rs 4 lakh. The tender was passed after a formal approval from municipal commissioner Mahesh Pathak.
The proposal was submitted to the standing committee a month ago but is yet to finalised. The MNS had opposed this proposal.
“If this public toilet is demolished, it will be a new trend in the PMC and other public toilets will come under threat. We have demanded details of the proposal but to no avail. There is already a shortage of public toilets and considering the increasing population more will be needed in the future,” said Ravindra Dhangekar, MNS Corporator.
Suresh Jagtap, PMC’s zonal commissioner and solid waste management chief, said, “I don’t know why the standing committee wants the public toilet land. I have demanded details of the proposal and will comment after going through it.”
Municipal Commissioner Mahesh Pathak said, “After getting permission from the Child and Women Welfare committee the land for a public toilet can be utilized for something else. If the standing committee has started the tender procedure it means they have taken proper permission. The allegations about shortage of toilets are baseless. Last year PIL was filed about public toilets and the High Court clearly asked the PMC what it was doing. We have done our job well and there are lots of public toilets.”
Civic activist Vijay Kumbhar said, “It is shocking that Pathak thinks there are enough public toilets. According to state government norms, there should be one toilet for a population of 100. Now, the ratio is 1:9000 which shows there is a shortage. Two years ago a special provision of Rs 1 crore was made, but only some 30 public toilets were added in the last four years.”
Number of public toilets in the city
>> Gents toilets 1,437
>> Ladies Toilets 374
>> Total 1,811
There is a need for 31,189 more toilets
According to government norms there should be 1 toilet for 100 people, currently the ratio is 1 toilet for 9000 people. Considering that there is aneed for 33,000 toilets in the city there is a shortage of 31,189 toilets