HYDERABAD: Lack of adequate number of public and community toilets in a majority of urban local bodies in Telangana is causing untold hardships to people.
There are not enough public toilets for men and women in ULBs. If at all there is a public toilet, it is invariably in a deplorable and unhygienic condition due to poor maintenance. As a result, people are forced to relieve themselves in the open, causing discomfiture to passers-by.
Realising the problem, the department of municipal administration and urban development (MAUD) has invited proposals from interested agencies to construct, operate and maintain public toilets at important public places in cities and towns.
As part of Swachh Bharat-Swachh Telangana Mission with the goal of ridding cities of open defecation by 2019, the commissioner and director of municipal administration (CDMA) proposes to construct public toilets on build-finance-operate-and-transfer basis.
The obligatory functions of the ULBs include construction and maintenance of public toilets, urinals and similar conveniences.
To improve provision of services to users of public toilets, urinals and similar conveniences in municipalities and corporations, CDMA invited proposals from interested parties through a transparent and competitive bidding process to construct, operate and maintain public toilets.
The selected operator has to maintain the toilets allotted to them as per rules and regulations. It can lease out advertisement space to generate revenue and collect user charges from the public in accordance with a charge schedule approved by the ULB.
MAUD has directed municipal commissioners to concentrate on construction of community and public toilets which are primary components of Swachh Bharat Mission.
Community toilet blocks will be constructed in low-income, informal settlements or slums where space or land is a constraint to providing a household toilet. It is mostly located within a community where people reside. It will be owned, used and maintained by community members or local authorities.
Public toilets are meant mostly for floating population ie, people on the move. They will be located at every major transit node where there is a heavy footfall and near identified permanent markets, haats, hospitals and bus terminals.
Detailed guidelines and model agreements on construction and maintenance of community and public toilets have been issued. Any deviation from the guidelines will be viewed seriously and the municipal commissioner concerned will be held responsible for lapses, if any, and action initiated against him.