Mumbai: The entire state of Maharashtra (rural and urban areas) was declared open defecation-free (ODF) in 2017 by the Quality Council of India, but in Mumbai-Mankhurd, Shanti Nagar in Wadala, Antop Hill, Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC), Mahim Causeway, and Somaiya Ground, Sion, there were spots where people were defecating in the open.
Taking cognisance, now the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has planned to provide electronic (e-toilet) toilet facilities.
An MMRDA official said, “This facility will be useful, especially for autorickshaw and taxi drivers. Being a commercial hub, almost every company has offices at the BKC and so auto, taxi and private cab services (Ola and Uber) are in abundance. Keeping this in mind, the unmanned e-toilet facility has been considered. It will help us (MMRDA) in maintaining the status of Maharashtra as ODF.”
In order to use the facility, the user must insert a coin and the doors open automatically. However, the user fee is yet to be decided, the MMRDA said. According to an official, the pre-fabricated, steel toilets have pressure nozzles which make flushing easier. This pressurised flushing addresses the problem of unclean toilets, and the fitted sensors makes the cleaning process automatic.
The sensors also ensure the floor is cleaned automatically after five uses. An improved ventilation system is another feature of this e-toilet. The MMRDA has called interested agencies to set up e-toilets at ten locations in BKC on a pilot project basis. In lieu of this, they will get advertisement rights for up to five years.