Lack of access to sufficient number of fully functional community toilets and the scant number of public toilets have gradually deteriorated the sanitation in the city.
The city currently has 20 Sulabh International operated public toilets under the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC). The BMC has 60 wards under it. So this means that there is one public toilet for every three wards. Around 16 of the public toilets are being operated by the Sulabh International directly and the rest four are being operated by them in Private-Public Partnership.
BMC has taken up ‘Project Sammaan’ which is looking after setting up of community and public toilets and also repairing the existing ones in the city.
Under the project, around 60 community and 27 public toilets have been proposed.
The locations for the public toilets have been finalised. A few of these will be near the Badagada Kalyan Mandap, one on the Bhubaneswar Sessions Court premises, one behind the Kalamandir showroom, one near the AIIMS hospital and one near Gopabandhu Square.
The project that is being funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) is a consortium of other private players who are offering technical knowhow to set up standard toilets. “The tender process for the project should start by the first week of January,” said a senior BMC official. The project was initiated in July though.
According to a Project Sammaan representative, trying to find a solution to a proper sewerage system is one of the most challenging parts of the project. When around 87 toilets come up, managing the sewerage system is of utmost importance,” said one of the representatives of the Project
Around 70 per cent of the city does not have proper sewerage system, which makes management of solid waste even more difficult.
BMC sanitation committee chairman Sheikh Nizamuddin said that in the December 24 meeting of the committee condition of the community and public toilets will be taken up for discussion.
Prior to that they will conduct a field visit of all the community and public toilets in the city to ascertain their condition.