In an initiative to ensure cleaner toilets at railway stations, the Central Railway is planning to implement a ‘pay-and-use’ policy.
At present, toilets at Central Railway stations are either handled by private contractors or the railway itself. The toilets at 16 out of the 108 stations are contractually managed while the rest come under respective station masters.
Under the new ‘toilet policy’, the Central Railway is aiming to appoint contractual workers at 40 stations to ensure stricter implementation of cleaning of toilets.
For this, they are planning to increase the fees for various toilet uses — Re 1 for urinal usage, Rs 5 for toilet and Rs 15 for bathing. Major stations like Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), Kurla, Thane, Chembur and Dadar are likely to see revised fares of the new toilet policy. The CR is likely to float tenders for contracts in the next three-four months.
“We have observed that free use of toilets at railway stations do not make commuters aware about the importance of keeping them clean. In fact, cases of damaging railway property of toilets has been rampantly noticed. The revised fare system will curb malpractices and ensure better toilets for commuter use,” said a senior CR official. At present, a pay-and-use system is in use on trial basis at a few suburban stations such as Mankhurd, Mulund, Dombivli and Titawala.
The revised policy will also ensure fixing of responsibilities for maintenance of the toilets. The contractual workers will need to ensure basic cleaning of the toilets four times a day, spraying twice a day, wet cleaning of glass walls and mirrors at least twice in a day, stain removal on granite walls once a day and garbage disposal to municipal dumping area at least four times a day.
A ‘deluxe toilet’, primarily an air-conditioned toilet, has been set up at the Thane station. CR aims to have such deluxe toilets at Kurla and Kalyan stations too.
Meanwhile, the Western Railway is facilitating construction of five vacuum toilets at Churchgate railway station in five months. Officials said two bio-toilets for women and three for men would be in place to manage waste.