Mumbai: Though the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) time and again has been slammed by citizens and political leaders for not providing good toilet facilities in the city and for non-maintenance of existing toilets, the civic body has been applauded by the Central government. Recently, the officers of the Centre visited the city and conducted a survey of 22 locations and ranked Mumbai under the open defecation free city.
Kiran Dighavkar, assistant municipal commissioner of BMC, stated that the corporation undertook various initiatives to improve the toilet facilities of the city and so the Centre appreciated us for the work undertaken. However, he has no information regarding what parameters the Centre analysed for the appreciation certificate. “Every six months the Centre conducts a survey and gives certificates to the cities who fit their parameters,” Dighavkar added.
Also, Devendra Fadnavis, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, tweeted a congratulatory message for the BMC. This is the second time the BMC has been appreciated by the Centre. Mumtaz Shaikh, activist of the right to pee movement, stated that the BMC should not take this appreciation from the Centre as they are way behind to make the city free from open defecation.
Shaikh said, “The city lacks proper toilet facilities. The Centre has claimed that the city is free from open defecation but there are no toilets for small children below 12 years of age. Therefore, they defecate openly. Also, the pay and use toilets shut by 11 at night and open by morning. In that time span usually people are seen defecating openly. Hence, the claims done by the Centre are false.”
The civic body is struggling hard to provide toilet facilities for Mumbaikars. The major obstacle they face is that no one wants a toilet in their vicinity. The recent example is that of Waheeda Rehman and Salim Khan, father of Salman Khan, who opposed a public toilet near their residential complexes in Bandra.
The Solid Waste Management Department (SWM) of the civic body got approval from the Standing Committee of the BMC to continue the clean-up marshals deployed in the city. In every ward 17 clean-up marshals have been deployed to keep an eye on people and impose fines on those who are found littering.