Stinker from boss forces Mumbai cops to fix their dirty toilets

Jan 11, 2019, 07:46 IST | Diwakar Sharma

mid-day impact: 24-hour ultimatum following the first part of this paper's series on hygiene in our Mumbai police stations sends inspectors scurrying to set their workplaces in order

Stinker from boss forces Mumbai cops to fix their dirty toilets
Marine Drive police station loo, once encrusted in faeces, is now clean. Pic/Bipin Kokate

South Mumbai's cops will finally get some relief at work, with the top brass taking serious steps to address the pathetic conditions of toilets across police stations. Just days after this paper launched its campaign, 'Cop-ping a Stink' to highlight the crappy condition of the toilets, senior officers have issued orders to clean the filth and ensure all equipment is in working condition.

Sources told mid-day that the Additional Commissioner of Police (South Region) Pravinkumar Padwal asked the zonal deputy commissioners of police (DCPs) to ensure that the toilets at their police stations are cleaned at the earliest. "The station in-charge is supposed to keep the premises of his/her police station clean. The dirty toilets have been cleaned now," Padwal said.

Broken and filthy urinals have been removed and will soon be replaced with new ones at DB Marg police station. Pics/Bipin Kokate
Broken and filthy urinals have been removed and will soon be replaced with new ones at DB Marg police station. Pics/Bipin Kokate

Repairs in progress
When mid-day visited DB Marg police station on Wednesday afternoon, the broken and filthy urinals were being removed. They will soon be replaced with new ones that have been ordered. The leaking tap in the washbasin had also been replaced, and new flushers installed in the toilet. The floor and walls, one coated with urine, have been cleaned.

The zonal DCP Dyaneshwar Chavan, who visited the police station on Wednesday morning, told mid-day that policemen should keep their surroundings and toilets clean to maintain hygiene. "It is the work of the PWD department to keep up the maintenance of government buildings. The men in uniform are known for discipline and they should also keep their toilets clean for better health," said Chavan.

Nagpada police station's toilet in the process of being cleaned
Nagpada police station's toilet in the process of being cleaned

Still no soap
However, handwash is still missing from the toilet. A senior officer said, "The government does not provide soap to wash away the germs after using the toilet. So we have to bring in our own soap or hand sanitisers to work." One of the problems was that the toilets were also being used by government staff and their children living in nearby quarters. Now, an iron gate has been installed at the entrance to keep unwanted users away.

Similarly, the toilet at JJ Marg police station is locked after use, and the key is kept with the manager of the canteen next door. An officer at JJ Marg police station told mid-day that earlier, taxi drivers and local vendors would also use the toilets, since the police station is located by the side of an arterial road. "We got it cleaned and now keep it locked to maintain hygiene," the officer said.

JJ Marg police station's washroom has now been locked, to prevent use by outsiders
JJ Marg police station's washroom has now been locked, to prevent use by outsiders

Most of the toilets of south region police stations, including Nagpada and Colaba, were cleaned using floor sanitiser. The dried faeces at the Marine Drive police station toilet have also been cleaned. "Apart from the BMC sanitary staff, private cleaning staff have also been hired to clean the toilets," said a PSI from Marine Drive.

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