BENGALURU: A study conducted by the All India Institute of Local Self Government (AIILSG), Pune, has revealed that the number of community toilets available in Bengaluru in proportion to the population is low when compared to other cities like Chennai and Ahmedabad. The number of community toilets per thousand population per sqkm in Chennai, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru is 1.7, 0.8 and 0.7, respectively, as per the 2011 Census.
The report also indicates that while maintenance of community toilets is poor, encouraging open defecation, the maintenance of public toilets is quite good in the city. The report was submitted by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike before a division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj based on directions to ascertain the number of public toilets required in the city.
In its key findings, the AIILSG pointed out that maintenance and usability of public toilets appeared to be quite good compared to community toilets. The model of private sector involvement is successful and can be scaled up in future. Many of the toilets are found to be using tanker water since the requirement of water is more and may not be met from municipal supplies.
Some of the toilets are either locked or used as storage places and a few toilets have maintenance issues. Cases of non-payment and extortion have also been reported by attendants. User fee is generally uniform across toilets, but pricing policy may help link it to services offered.
Indicating that the city has 0.06 public toilets per 1,000 population, the report states that about 52 per cent of toilets are constructed on footpaths. The BBMP has covered only one-third of the area in the form of public toilets out of 116 markets, 43 bus stations and 43 commercial areas, the report added.
FINDINGS OF REPORT
495 public toilets can cater to a floating population of maximum 8 lakhs against an estimated 21 lakhs.
Demand for about 478 more toilet complexes exists in BBMP limits
Actions to be taken
Commercial hotspots to be targeted to construct more public toilets, innovative designs requiring less space to be used for setting them up on n footpaths where land availability is a constraint.
Only 32 community toilets re available largely concentrated in 4 zones (East, West, South and Yelahanka), which can cater to only 10,000 slum population.
With the estimated 8% of population in slums, the demand for community toilets continues. Additional 90 toilet complexes are estimated to be required
Actions to be taken
Focus on open defecation spots, uncovered slums with individual toilets to be targeted for construction of community toilets.
Repairs, where required, have to be carried out to enhance use of existing toilets and increase access to larger population.
Design, operation and maintenance models have to be improved for sustained use of these toilets.