Mumbai: BMC's Plan To Install Toilets At Beaches Hits Dead End Again

Mumbai: BMC's Plan To Install Toilets At Beaches Hits Dead End Again

The experiment of prefabricated bio-toilets on beaches received stiff resistance from locals.

SHEFALI PARAB-PANDITUpdated: Wednesday, December 13, 2023, 11:58 PM IST
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Beach toilet model | Shefali Parab-Pandit

Mumbai: The BMC's plans to install 24 toilets at eight beaches in the city received a setback for a second time. Earlier, the experiment of prefabricated bio-toilets on beaches received stiff resistance from locals. So the civic body decided to replace it with a mobile toilet. However, the contract was terminated due to delays in work and a fresh tender was invited on Wednesday. 

Following the directives of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), after obtaining a no objection certificate from the Maharashtra Maritime Board, the solid waste management (SWM) department started the process to install pre-fabricated bio-toilets at beaches last year. However, the BMC had to change the locations of mobile toilets at Versova and Aksa beach twice after stiff opposition from local people, said civic sources. 

Since people oppose bio-toilets, it has been decided to install fabricated mobile toilets which can be moved from one place to another. Accordingly, a tender was invited in September. "The contractor was not ready to work on the decided location and delayed work. So we had to terminate the contract and invite re-tender. We are also planning to impose a penalty on the contractor for delay," said a civic official. 

Sudhakar Shinde, additional municipal commissioner said, "The mobile toilet will be three seats each for men and women, and one seat for specially-abled people. There will also be a lower platform toilet which can be used by senior citizens and specially able visitors at beaches. After the work order is issued, the mobile toilets will be made available on the beaches in four months." 

The mobile toilets will be installed at Girgaon - 02, Dadar-Mahim - 08, Juhu -06, Versova- 04, Madh-Marve - 01, Manori - Gorai - 02. The contractor will be responsible for maintenance of the toilets. They will also have to clean the toilets five times daily and should deploy workers in three shifts for one year, said the civic official.

Thousands of citizens and tourists can be spotted on beaches in the city daily. There are mobile toilets in a few places, but the toilets did not work for long due to poor maintenance. A structural audit of public toilets that are over 30 years old was conducted in 2018. There are 8,500 public toilets in the city. The BMC had recently invited a tender for the construction of 14,000 toilet seats under Lot 12, with a provision of Rs 394 crore.

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