Owing to the difficulty in maintaining the biotoilets in the city, the Kochi Corporation is planning to hand over the responsibility of its functioning to Kudumbasree. According to officials, the paper work in this regard is nearing completion and soon the Kudumbasree members will man the toilets. The Kochi Corporation had set up the toilets more than an year ago. However, lack of takers for running them led to its closure in different parts of the city.
Kochi Corporation Works Standing Committee chairperson Soumini Jain said that even though they had called tenders for the toilets, there were no takers for shouldering the responsibility. “The revenue generated from the biotoilets is insufficient to pay the staff employed for the maintenance services,” she said. Since there is no guarantee of making any profit, especially since the maintenance charges are high, nobody is interested in taking it up.
There are allegations that lack of electricity and water lead to the closure of some of them.
The full responsibility of operating the toilets will be handed over to Kudumbashree. The compensatory funds for paying the wages of the employees will be paid by the Corporation. “The toilets were installed by the Kochi Corporation as a service. That is why we have decided to bear the cost although it is a loss for us,” Soumini said.
The bio-toilets have been set up at Vyttila, Fort Kochi, Kacheripady and on the Town Hall premises. “The toilet has not been opened to the public so far. We’re not sure whether the Corporation will take any initiative to open them,” said Vincent, an autodriver at Kacheripady. A shopkeeper nearby claims that there is no permanent electricity supply for its functioning.
The human waste is treated and converted into odourless gas and water in biotoilets.