The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has ordered to make all public toilets in the city free for the residents. Municipal commissioner Baldeo Purushartha has ordered that no city resident would be charged for using any public toilet in the city.
The civic body is also putting up boards outside the public toilets to make the residents aware that the facility is free. Purushartha said: “We have put up boards for people to use the public toilets for free. New toilets are being constructed and the previous ones are being renovated.”
Joint commissioner Manoj Khatri on Wednesday visited some of the public toilets to check if people were being charged for the facility. The civic body has also procured 17 mobile toilet vans from Delhi. There is a provision of 10 seats in each van. The vans would be placed particularly at the colony and village areas.
The municipal corporation has already deployed 10 teams of five marshals to keep a watch on those going in for open defecation. Strict directions have been given to the marshals to see if anybody was charging for the facility of public toilet.
The marshals have been assigned colony and village areas to explain people the importance of cleanliness, health and hygiene under the Swachh Bharat Mission. They also inform people about the contamination that takes place from open defecation and discuss its effects like contaminating agricultural produce and spread of diseases like diarrhoea and cholera.
The civic body has expedited its work in this context since a team from the ministry will be visiting the city soon to decide whether Chandigarh deserves the open defecation-free tag.
The team will have certain parameters and they will check the city during the morning hours. The team will also check the availability of toilets and their use by people. The wards of mayor Arun Sood and senior deputy mayor Davesh Moudgil have already been given the open defecation-free status.
A survey in the end of November 2015 had revealed that 2,159 men, 861 women and 674 children went for open defecation. These details were also mentioned in the Swachh Bharat status. However, the Congress councillors had raised a question on the data stating that there were more than the said number of people who went in for open defectation.