In South Delhi experiment, RWAs to keep public toilets clean

The stench and squalor in public toilets seem to have prompted the South Municipal Corporation's commissioner to propose a public-private partnership model to keep these conveniences, especially in marketplaces, clean and "usable".

As part of the proposal, commissioner Manish Gupta has planned to rope in market unions and residents' welfare associations.

"Toilets in market complexes are used by shopkeepers and visitors. On account of the heavy footfall during festival season, the sanitation staff find it difficult to keep the toilets clean," he said.

The proposed arrangement states that RWAs and market associations shall carry out and bear the expenses for the required day-to-day maintenance of toilets. The association will be allowed to collect a nominal usage fee —Rs 2 for the urinal and Rs 5 for the toilet. The corporation reserves the right to revise the rates.

Since the RWAs and registered market associations will be responsible to keep the toilets clean, a review will be done after six months of the agreement. It can be revoked if the toilets remain dirty.

Ownership and several rights - such as display of advertisements and hoardings inside or outside the toilets — shall remain with the corporation.

The proposal has been put before the standing committee. "It has been sent for approval. We need to read it thoroughly to know how RWAs and market associations can be be roped in to make toilets usable," Rajesh Gehlot, chairman of the civic agency's standing committee, said.

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