Toilets built by MLAs, MPs raise a stink

Most toilets not connected to main sewers; BMC initiates survey.

BMC is alarmed at the pollution public toilets built using MP and MLA funds are generating.

Pollution control norms had not been followed in the construction of a majority of these toilets, said Rahul Shewale, standing committee chairman and Shiv Sena corporator. He said: "Most of these toilets are not linked to main sewage lines and have poor waste disposal."

There were over 3,500 such ill-maintained public toilets in the city, Shewale said.

Rajiv Jalota, additional municipal commissioner, said, "BMC has taken notice of the issue and initiated a survey. We will ensure the toilets are linked to main sewage lines."

A senior civic official said, "These toilets are not connected to main sewer lines leading to disposal of waste in open drains, which is a major cause of pollution. It also leads to unhygienic conditions for people living nearby."

A worker from the community-based organisation that oversees maintenance of toilets in slums said: "These toilets are poorly maintained. Slums that have such public toilets do not get adequate water for cleanliness."

Meanwhile, BMC is expediting the process of surveying public toilets for a gap analysis of sanitation facilities. It is undertaking the mammoth task for the first time in 12 years.

"The survey will help us understand the degree of maintenance," said Jalota, adding, "The study will also be able to gather data on violations of sewage disposal norms."

Of the 4,500 public toilets in the city, 65-70 per cent are for men.

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