A resident of Bavdhan has secured permission from the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to personally maintain an e-toilet in the area. Frustrated by the prolonged closure of the facility due to PMC's maintenance challenges, Krunnal Gharre has taken it upon himself to invest his own money and ensure the proper functioning of the e-toilet.
Expressing his commitment, Gharre stated, "For the past several years, the e-toilet facility has been kept closed by PMC, causing inconvenience to several residents. I decided to take responsibility for maintaining the e-toilet on my own to provide a solution."
This citizen-led effort has garnered support from other residents in the area who appreciate the initiative. Manisha Desai, a local resident, said, "It's inspiring to see someone from our community taking the initiative. Public facilities should be accessible, and I hope more residents come forward to contribute to the community's well-being."
Another resident, Rajesh Mutha, echoed the sentiment, saying, "The e-toilet is a necessity, and we appreciate Gharre's dedication. If more residents participate in such initiatives, we can collectively address community issues and contribute to a cleaner and more functional environment."
Highlighting the potential impact of community involvement, Sneha Mane, another resident, said, "This effort shows that community-driven solutions are effective. If each locality takes responsibility for public facilities, we can create a positive change in the city."
Under the agreement with PMC, Gharre will maintain the e-toilet for an initial period of three months, with the possibility of an extension. In a generous gesture, he has also committed to maintaining two more e-toilets at his own expense.
The PMC's ambitious e-toilet project, launched in 2018 under the MP local area development fund at ₹2 crore, aimed to install 23 e-toilets at 11 different locations in the city. However, maintenance challenges have left a majority of these facilities closed, with only three (located at FC Road, Om Super Market, and Hirwai Garden) currently functional.
While the PMC claims full responsibility for running and maintaining the e-toilets, residents like Gharre are stepping up to address the issues in their localities.
Sandip Kadam, Deputy Commissioner, has granted permission for residents to oversee the maintenance of an e-toilet as part of a pilot project. This initiative involves allowing the community to take an active role in ensuring the proper functioning and cleanliness of the electronic public toilet. The approval suggests a willingness to explore community engagement in the upkeep of public amenities, marking a positive step towards shared responsibility.