Already under the scanner for doling out a multi-crore contract to a private agency for the upkeep of public toilets in the twin city, the Sanitation Department of Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) stands exposed for turning a blind eye towards the activities of staff deployed by the contractual agency. It has come to light that some of the community toilet operators have been selling water to auto rickshaw, taxi, trucks and even tourist bus drivers to wash their vehicles. Armed with video clippings and photographs of water from a community toilet near a municipal stadium in Bhayandar (West) being diverted to wash and service vehicles, members affiliated to the social organisation Yuva Pratishthan, led by Ganesh Baamne, registered a complaint with the municipal commissioner and sought action against the contractual agency. “Along with free electricity and water, the civic administration is paying lakhs of rupees every month to the contractor to maintain the community toilets. But, here they are brazenly selling water for commercial use to drivers, who line up outside the toilet every day. MBMC should cancel the contract and blacklist the agency, as it is a clear case of theft.” charged Baamne.
The same situation prevails at several other community toilets in the twin city, sources said. Deputy Municipal Commissioner Dr Sambhajji Panpatte remained unavailable for comment. MBMC had recently awarded a multi-crore contract to a private agency for the upkeep and day to day maintenance of public toilets. Apart from portable pay-to-use toilets, there are more than 177 Community Toilet Complexes (CTC), comprising around 3,500 toilet seats that have been constructed by MBMC’s Public Works Department (PWD) in the various parts of the twin city.