Mumbai: Gateway of India now has toilets for women

Mumbai: After passing through a security check at The Gateway of India stands an old structure which has now been refurbished and developed into women’s toilet. In this 10-seat toilet, women sightseers can relieve themselves; and also utilise baby care station for their toddlers, free of cost.

The civic body has now got aid from corporates due to which new toilets are being constructed in the city. Kiran S Dighavkar, Assistant Commissioner ‘A’ Ward said, “We are making such facilities free of cost for the common man, since these toilets are being built under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme by the corporates.”

In this case, the toilet has been constructed by Samatech company and the fact it has been constructed in the place of an existing structure helped to keep it at Rs 30 lakh. “We received the funding to build this facility from Ladies Circle India and Round Table India,” stated Keith Mascarenhas, director, Samatech. This toilet will be operated by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

Akshat Gupta, the co-founder of Samatech said they have been working with the BMC for over two months to draw the maintenance plan. “The BMC is also interested in changing the public perception that it cannot maintain toilets. They will outsource the maintenance to an agency that has experience in maintaining toilets,” said Gupta.

Adding to it, Dighavkar said that BMC has maintenance funds and the money from these funds will be used to pay dues of professional facilities managers. These managers are selected under a tendering process. Soon, BMC will be evaluating Crawford market area to setup a unisex sanitation facility, he revealed.

The foundation has given BMC some recommendations on operations. Mascarenhas added, “We have asked BMC for a security for the women’s toilet and appoint a supervisor along with the cleaning team. At present, BMC has meet most of these suggestions.  This toilet will have napkin vending machines, water cooler station, baby care station and other women-friendly facilities.

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