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As part of its plan to make Delhi open defecation free, the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) has set up a mechanism to grade the toilets it built in various areas. The move was introduced to ensure that toilets built by the board do not remain unused on account of poor maintenance.
The DUSIB, which plans to add 10,000 new toilets in Delhi’s slums by the end of the year, has set up the grading system for 12 executive engineers who will be held accountable for maintenance of toilets in areas under their supervision.
“Many a times, there are toilets in JJ colonies but people don’t use them because they are not clean. While we are building more and more toilets, we want to ensure they are used. Only then can Delhi become open defecation free,” a senior DUSIB official said.
He added that engineers will get quarterly grades for maintenance of toilets.
A committee under the DUSIB’s board member A K Gupta has been set up to review maintenance of toilets, a senior official told The Indian Express. Executive engineers will be ranked and pulled up if maintenance of toilets in their areas is not up to the mark.
In order to bring quality improvement in DUSIB’s toilets, officials said, that toilets, for the first time, would have faucets inside. “This will put an end to people carrying their own buckets of water to use the toilet. Some of the toilets also have flush systems,” an official said.
The construction of toilets has been made in the 1:30 ratio under the Swachh Bharat norms. All these complexes have toilets in the 50:50 ratio for men and women, senior officials said. Adequate signages have been put up to mark toilets for handicapped users as well.
Putting a stop to open defecation, however, officials said, is as much about changing mindsets as it is about building new toilets. “A large number of people living in JJ colonies are migrants from rural areas. They are used to defecating in the open in their villages but they don’t realise that things cannot be the same in urban landscapes. They need to be sensitised and made aware of the hygienic hazards that open defecation poses. We have tied up with seven NGOs that will do this work of creating awareness and encouraging people to use toilets,” a senior official said.