CHENNAI: In a move to ensure safety of women, Greater Chennai Corporation has floated tenders to construct 150 ‘SHE’ toilets under the Nirbhaya Scheme. SHE toilets are to be constructed in ‘safe zone clusters’ (SZC) and busy places earmarked by the civic body through Geographic Information Mapping. Though this project was not taken up for more than a year, officials said the delay was due to earmarking spaces. The places have been finalised now. ‘’This is the first phase and will be expanded to 500 toilets at a total cost of `27 crores next year in two phases. The tenders contract is for three years,’’ said a top official with Corporation’s works department.
The SHE toilets are part of an umbrella project by Tamil Nadu government under Nirbhaya funds to promote safety of women in public places. Under this, women-only MTC buses, Amma Patrol cars, surveillance cameras, street lights and mobile app are the other projects. ‘’The idea is to make women feel safe and comfortable in using public toilets. The dedicated e-toilet for them in busy places may be a welcome change,’’ the official said adding that as a whole, it may change the perception of public toilets among women.
Some of the locations where these toilets are to come up are near Central, Egmore Railway Stations and Parrys bus stand. The women-only toilets are set to share similar features as the current e-toilets in the city. ‘’Both are more or less similar in size and it will have auto-flush which is connected to a tank on the side or rear with a capacity of 200 litres,’’ the official said. They will function 24*7, maintained properly.
On the flip side, e-toilets in the city have been a big failure. The city currently has 221 e-toilets and 138 rental toilets, but most of them are dysfunctional and closed due to lack of maintenance.
During 2019 summer, water supply to these toilets was scanty, resulting in neglect. Since then, the civic body forgot the existing toilets.In some places such as Royapuram, even garbage was dumped inside the unused e-toilets. With these existing challenges, it has to be seen how the civic body will maintain the women-only toilets. When queried about the same, officials did not have a plan.‘For the new ones, we will deploy dedicated sanitary workers to maintain it,’’ the official said.
will this work?
Most e-toilets dysfunctional
150 women-only toilets to come up by 2020
Totally, 500 women-only toilets planned under Nirbhaya Scheme