Mumbai: Swacchta Mission in limbo, e-toilets stink of MBMC apathy

Tall claims of the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) on the cleanliness drive of the twin-city have ended up as a cosmetic affair as the much hyped e-toilet project is turning out to be a failure less than two years after its launch in 2018.

With an aim to solve the issue of unhygienic and unclean public toilets, the civic administration had installed its first set of state of the art e-toilets across various residential and commercial locations in the twin-city in October 2018.

However, two years later most of the prefabricated structures made from stainless steel have been winded up and shifted to municipal godowns while others are lying dysfunctional and neglected, crying for attention, exposing the negligence and apathy of MBMC’s public works and sanitation department.

“Not all e-toilets are in disuse, only one is non- operational. Lack of usage awareness and instances of equipment theft has posed problems. However, the recently appointed contractor is taking care of the e-toilets and other minor issues will be rectified soon,” said executive engineer- Suresh Vakode.

“There is no point in installing such facilities by wasting taxpayers’ money when the MBMC is unable to maintain them. The funds wasted in the project should be recovered from those who were responsible to maintain it,” said youth activist- Jatin Dhadich.

Faulty locations earmarked for the installation of the automatic facility ignoring privacy, control, maintenance vigilance and recycling of grey water has added to the woes. Designed with a self-automated hygiene mechanism to make them hassle-free for users, 11 e-toilets were installed by the civic administration by spending more than Rs. 90 lakh (around 8.25 lakh per unit) towards the initiative. But, thanks to the lack of maintenance, compounded by the careless attitude shown by some users, most of these coin operated e-toilets are in an extremely unhygienic and pathetic state.

Armed with a self -cleaning and water conservation mechanism, the coin operated e-toilets are unmanned and work on human sensor-based technology with automated access and self-flush control.

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