BMC has planned to install 500 sanitary pad dispensing units along with incinerators for used pads at 5000 public toilets in Mumbai. In the first phase of this initiative, BMC will install these machines at 5000 public toilets, with a focus on those located in slum areas in the city, said officials.
Presently, about 55 per cent of Mumbai’s population lives in slum areas in the city.
There are 7,543 public toilets in the city, of which 1999 are municipal toilets, 4694 are MHADA-owned public toilets, and 846 are pay-and-use public ones.
Eventually, the programme will cover all public toilets.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation recently floated tenders to install these wall-mounted sanitary pad dispensing machines for these toilet blocks, along with a contract to maintain them for three years. Maintenance clauses include ensuring these machines do not run out of the product, and that the stock is replaced within a few hours if it is exhausted.
Each machine will have the capacity to dispense 45 to 60 sanitary napkins—unfolded or folded. At one time, the machine will dispense one whole pack of napkins, consisting of three units of sanitary pads of various specifications. It will bear the capacity of dispensing a minimum of 150 napkins a day. The napkins will be obtained by inserting designated rupees in allotted slots for purchase, as the cost of the purchase is yet to be determined by the civic body.
The machines will be web-based and will generate electronic data about consumption and available stock, that can be accessed online at the ward level. When the stock in the machine is exhausted, a sign of no stock will be displayed on the machine, and will be received at the back end of the ward. Contractors maintaining the machine will be responsible for replenishing the stock within five hours after it is exhausted.
The cost per machine is about Rs 60,000 per unit. BMC has started the initiative in line with World Health Organization’s (WHO) hygiene plan for menstrual health and hygiene management.