Corporations’ public toilets report rejected

Irked by the status report submitted by the three municipal corporations and NDMC on the issue of public toilets in the city, the Delhi High Court bench of Justice B D Ahmad and Justice Vibhu Bakhru on Wednesday rejected the corporations' reports and summoned the superintending engineer, who had filed the document, on the next date of hearing.

In August, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had filed a report before the High Court on the dismal condition of public toilets in the city, claiming that there were very few public facilities in the capital, and they were badly maintained, with no water supply, electricity and no cleanliness. In their reply, the civic agencies had claimed that they "could not understand the averments made in the CPCB report," and alleged that the report of the central agency was incorrect as the survey had been "outsourced".

"The status report and affidavit filed on behalf of the three civic agencies is highly unsatisfactory to say the least, the counsel for the corporations states that it shall be replaced with a fresh status report," the court noted in its order.

The court also directed the NDMC to submit another affidavit containing the "specific measures that have been taken" to comply with the court's earlier directions, in which civic agencies were told to build more toilets for women and to maintain sanitary conditions.

The High Court has been monitoring the issue of public sanitation since 1998 after a PIL was filed by advocate Ashok Aggarwal. According to the report submitted in court, public toilets in Delhi, whether under the control of the municipal corporations or Delhi Cantonment Board, were "largely in a deplorable condition".

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