Four months after it asked restaurants to open toilets under its jurisdiction to women and children, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has instructed petrol pumps to ensure they have functional public toilets by July 15. The move is part of the municipal body’s plan to improve its performance — after it ranked 202 in the Swachh Survekshan survey. SDMC mayor Kamaljeet Sehrawat said guidelines for free public use of toilets at petrol pumps has been issued.
The guidelines include ensuring hygiene with regular water supply, and toilets being accessible as long as the petrol pumps are open. “Petrol pump owners have also been asked to place a notice board, 4×3 feet in size, with an arrow at the entrance,” an SDMC official said. As of now, there are around 551 public toilets and 353 community toilets which are free for public use at petrol pumps. “SDMC commissioner Puneet Kumar Goel Saturday instructed officials that toilets should come up in 150 petrol pumps. While toilets are functional in 904 petrol pumps, the number will increase to 1,054,” the official added.
In an effort to ensure compliance, SDMC is likely to formulate a rule under which municipal licences will not be issued to petrol pump owners in the absence of a functional toilet. “The corporation has appointed a nodal officer to ensure that the infrastructure is available at all petrol pumps. Owners have been given a deadline of two weeks. If they do not comply with the guidelines, action will be taken by SDMC against the defaulters,” the official added.
Since April 1, all hotels and restaurants falling under SDMC’s jurisdiction were asked to give women and children access to their toilet facilities. The decision was taken after a suggestion was made by Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to SDMC councillors. Senior SDMC officials had held capacity building workshops where measures to improve their Swachh Bharat ranking were discussed. “The aim is to ensure we are in the top 25 by making all 104 wards open-defecation free, setting up at least one compost bin in every ward and decentralising composting through bulk generators,” an SDMC official said.