Mumbai: BMC promises better public toilets, to revisit pay-and-use model

Mumbai: BMC promises better public toilets, to revisit pay-and-use model

The BMC had stopped using the pay-and-use public toilet model in 2018 following then civic chief Ajoy Mehta's surprise visit to a facility in Goregaon.

SHEFALI PARAB-PANDITUpdated: Saturday, April 01, 2023, 12:03 AM IST
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Mumbai: BMC promises better public toilets, to revisit pay-and-use model | File Photo

Mumbai: After scrapping the pay-and-use public toilet model in 2018, the BMC has now decided to revisit the idea and implement it in a better way. With the same intention, the civic body is in the process of readying a policy which ideates public toilets with modern amenities. Expected to be ready in 15 days, the document will also have provisions for regulating the fee and termination of agreements if contract conditions are violated, said civic sources.

The BMC had stopped using the pay-and-use public toilet model in 2018 following then civic chief Ajoy Mehta's surprise visit to a facility in Goregaon. It was found that the toilet wasn't properly maintained.

"Operators restricting public from accessing toilets," say solid waste management official

“Operators were not only failing to maintain the toilets but were also overcharging and restricting the public from accessing the toilets. So after scrapping the pay-and-use model, no new construction of such toilets was permitted till now. Now, we have been directed to frame a new policy to regulate public toilets,” said the official from the Solid Waste Management Department.

850 toilets still operate on pay-and-use model

Under the new policy, the BMC is planning to construct new toilets with modern designs, keep them open for 24 hours, especially in high footfall areas, and have ramp facilities for specially abled people. There are around 8,500 public toilets across the city which are run by the BMC and charitable organisations. Of them, around 850 toilets are run on a pay-and-use model. They charge between ₹2 and ₹5 for one-time use. The use of these toilets were made free during lockdown. But the operators were allowed to start charging for the services in October 2020, after they complained of a financial crisis due to loss of revenue.

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