Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) initiative to construct 559 pre-cast toilets, offering over 14,000 seats, through the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) fund is at a standstill. To avoid further delays, the civic authorities have now decided to use internal funds for the construction.
Estimated budget of around Rs 532 crore
The Solid Waste Management department (SWM) has submitted an estimated budget of around Rs 532 crore to civic administrator Iqbal Singh Chahal for final approval, revealed civic sources. The SWM department had previously invited tenders for the construction of 14,000 conventional community toilets in slum areas under lot 12 in June but the process was temporarily halted after the suburban guardian minister Mangal Prabhat Lodha recommended installing pre-cast toilets in at least 500 locations. However, since the tender was in its final stages, cancelling it would only delay the construction of toilets and inconvenience citizens, prompting Lodha to give a green light for the tender process last month. Additionally, the contractors were hesitant to construct toilets as per new method due to constraints of the slum locations.
In response, civic officials have devised an estimate for constructing toilets using internal funds. However, separate tenders for new or additional public toilets through corporate companies will be floated, as per minister Lodha’s suggestion. The proposals to issue work orders to the selected contractors have already been finalised and submitted to the commissioner and the contract will be awarded after receiving administrative approval.
A survey report from 2020 revealed that there was only one public toilet seat for every 752 men and 1,820 women in Mumbai. The Swachh Bharat Mission stipulates that slum pockets should have one toilet seat for 35 males and 25 females. The civic body has unveiled plans to construct 14,166 toilet seats under the slum sanitation program in 2023-24, with the intention to match the user and toilet ratio.
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