The BMC has planned to invite citizens’ organisations and NGOs to help in identifying locations to construct public toilets in the city.
“We have planned to construct more public toilets and invite NGOs to run these public toilets based on the requirements put forth by citizens’ groups,” said a senior civic official from the solid waste management department.
The BMC recently began an extensive survey to map all public toilets in the city. The civic body will also survey properties of other public agencies such as the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA), Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and Public Works Department (PWD) to account for the public toilets in their areas.
In a city constantly on the move, where an average person travels a considerable distance to and from his workplace, a glaring gap is seen in the most basic public utility — toilets for people on the go.
As per BMC data, as of May 2012, for the 1.3 crore residents of Mumbai, there were only 836 public toilet blocks (excluding public toilets in slums) having a total of 10,381 toilet seats, 2,849 urinals and 842 bathrooms. This means that a single toilet seat caters to 1,250 Mumbaikars even as authorities admit the city needs a minimum of 35,000 public toilet seats. NGOs’ estimates peg the figure at 50,000 seats.
While a survey undertaken by the BMC in 2005 had found 1,175 public toilet blocks, more than 300 blocks have been razed due to the various infrastructure projects such as Metro, Monorail, flyovers, skywalks and road widening projects in the past few years.