Potty politics on Gandhi Jayanti

Oct 03, 2012, 06:49 IST | Sujit Mahamulkar

Congress MLA protests against BMC � administered by BJP, Shiv Sena � over a toilet built on a traffic island named after the Mahatma's wife

‘What’s in a name?’ is certainly not the sentiment shared by Congress workers in the city. Led by a party MLA, they held a dharna against BMC on Gandhi Jayanti, demanding a public toilet that was shifted to Kasturba Gandhi chowk near CP Tank three years ago — be moved back to its original location 100 metres away.

A man wipes face outside the public toilet at Kasturba Gandhi Chowk near CP Tank
Bone of contention: A man wipes face outside the public toilet at Kasturba Gandhi Chowk near CP Tank. Congress MLA Amin Patel claims that the toilet in the middle of the chowk, named after Gandhiji’s wife, has hurt public sentiments. Pic/Sameer Markande

“BMC had transposed the restroom on a temporary basis for a road repair, but is now not prepared to make the necessary change again. A toilet in the middle of Kasturba Gandhi chowk hurts our sentiments,” said Amin Patel, local Congress MLA.

While intermittent protests have been held over the issue time and again, the civic body says the current location of the lavatory is right for people’s convenience.

“It is a commercial area and we feel that this is a more suitable place for a toilet. So, we are not going to move it anywhere else,” said Chanda Jadhav, assistant municipal commissioner of C ward.

Amin Patel, however, threatened to launch a strong agitation if the corporation didn’t comply with the demand. “We will protest before the municipal commissioner’s office at the civic headquarters,” he told MiD DAY.

A local NGO is also supporting Congress. “The stinking and dirty toilet should be shifted to another place from Kasturba Gandhi chowk as it definitely offends people. It will not make any difference to Mumbaikars if they have to walk about 50-100 metres to reach it,” said Abuzar N Zakir, chairman of Concern for Mumbai. 

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