Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has set up an 88-seat jumbo community toilet at Juhu Galli, Andheri west, in the K west ward, to serve more than 60,000 residents residing in the nearby slums.
The facility has been built as part of the BMC’s programme of promoting health and hygiene in slum areas and officials and local elected public representatives have billed it as the largest community toilet in the city.
The ground plus one structure stands on 4,000 square feet of BMC land and has 60 seats in the ground floor and 28 on the first floor. Murals around the premises declare messages of cleanliness and hygiene.
The first floor is reserved for men, while the ground floor is reserved for women. There are four blocks dedicated to the specially abled.
Inside the toilet, there is a waiting area with a television set. The waiting area will also provide free Wi-Fi service to users and in the open space outside the building, saplings have been planted.
“Earlier, there was a small public toilet in that area, which we demolished and built a new one, so that it can cater to more people,” said Assistant Municipal Commissioner and in-charge of KW ward Vishwas Mote on Tuesday.
Local Congress corporator Mehar Mohsin Haider, whose initiative it was, said that all the families living in the area will be given monthly passes for using the facility.
“To promote cleanliness and hygiene, we will be distributing passes to residents. Each family will have to pay Rs 60 for unlimited usage of the toilet per month. The money collected will be used for the maintenance of the structure,” Haider told the FPJ. As the area is a slum, the majority of the people don’t have access to individual toilets, Haider said.
“The people are dependent on community toilets, which is why we decided to upgrade the facility, so that there is no spread of any disease, now that we are in the middle of a pandemic,” said Haider.
Earlier, when Haider’s husband Mohsin was the corporator of this area, a 32-seater toilet block was built at Gilbert Hill, which was then the largest public toilet. The corporator said that by December 2022, another 300-plus toilet facility is going to come up in the constituency just before the civic elections due next year.
“The idea is to build the maximum number of toilets, in order to upgrade the lifestyle of those living in the slums,” said Haider.