Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Pune need more toilets


PUNE: According to the ease of index report published by the Government of India in August, Pune was crowned as the most liveable city in India but the city has a host of problems to tackle, including the poor public sanitation system.

The city with a population of more than 44 lakhs, currently has only one toilet for every 244 persons in the city. As per international standards it should be 1 per 50 for a city. Ever since the report has been published, residents have been highlighting the not-so-good infrastructure in the city.

According to the information provided by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) officials, there are about 1,332 public toilets within PMC limits with more than 18,000 toilet seats for both men and women. Suresh Jagtap, former chief of solid waste management department in PMC said, “The internationally accepted norms are framed based on certain conditions. If the average waiting time of people at one place is more than four hours, then we need one public toilet for every 50 people in the city.”

However, the average waiting time of people in Pune at one place is not more than one hour, said Jagtap justifying the number of toilets in the city. He added, “However, serious cognizance has been taken of the fact that there ought to be more public toilets in the main roads of the city at the distance of 2.5 kiolmetres.” Dnyaneshwar Molak, chief of solid waste management department of PMC, who has taken charge recently said ,”I am aware of the situation. We are working towards increasing the number of public toilets in the city. However, it will take time.”

While civic officials have justified the lesser number of public toilets in the city, RTI activist Vijay Kumbhar has accused the civic body of giving wrong figures and misleading the residents. “The figures given by PMC shows that there is one public toilet for 244 people in the city, which is wrong. The actual figures are even more terrifying,” said Kumbhar.

“The number of public toilets in the city is so less that for every 1,000 people in the city there is one public toilet. Despite several requests made by the residents and NGOs, the Pune municipal corporation has been consistently trivialising one of the most important and basic aspect of public sanitation in the city,” he added.


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