To encourage more Pune residents to use public toilets, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to construct 30 ‘model toilets’, which will have a separate feeding and changing room for babies, among other facilities.
“The PMC constructs public toilets across the city for the convenience of Pune residents, but they are rarely used. Pune residents complain about the poor unhygienic condition of public toilets and many of them, especially women, avoid using them despite efforts by the civic body to maintain them,” said Suresh Jagtap, joint municipal commissioner, PMC.
The new ‘model toilets’ will have several facilities, he said, adding, “There will be a … baby feeding room.” To ensure that the ‘model toilets’ are properly maintained, the toilet caretaker would be allotted a room to stay in, in a nearby area, so that he can monitor the condition of the toilets round-the-clock, said Jagtap. The PMC’s ambitious plan also includes solar panels that will be installed on the toilets. The power generated by the panels will be used to meet the demand of the structure, while an automated water supply system would be installed to curb the wastage of water, said Jagtap. “There will also be a dedicated spot for advertisements on the toilet building, and the revenue collected from them would be used to meet the expenditure to run the public toilet,” he added.
The planning of the project is in its final stages, said Jagtap, adding that one such ‘model toilet’ has already been constructed in the Smart City area of Aundh-Baner-Balewadi. “The locations for the 30 new ‘model toilets’ have been identified… these will be close to major junctions and city roads,” said Jagtap. As per the PMC’s plan, the ‘model toilets’ will have separate facilities for the differently-abled, as well as waterless urinals, and mirrors and washbasins of better quality. These will have only western toilets, a system to garner feedback from the users, and a donation box for a worthy cause. “CCTVs will be installed outside the toilets to ensure the safety of women who use them… the idea is to encourage Pune residents from all strata of society to use the toilets,” said Jagtap.
The PMC, which often receives requests to relocate or reconstruct a public toilet, has also drafted a policy to do so within a certain time period of the construction of the toilet.