Of the 934 community toilets structurally audited by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), at least 423 need to be pulled down as they are dilapidated. The reconstruction of just 77 of them is estimated to cost Rs. 16 crore. The toilets will be shut down until their demolition.
Two people died after a public toilet collapsed in Bhandup in April this year. While the toilet was not maintained by the BMC, the municipal commissioner had ordered inspection of all BMC toilets soon after. The commissioner reviewed the inspection recently in a meeting with Solid Waste Management (SWM) officials. According to the report, there are 1,415 BMC community toilet blocks in the city of which structural audit has been carried out on 934. An audit of the remaining toilets is pending.
The report shows that of the 934 toilets, 423 are in an extremely dilapidated condition and need to be pulled down. These include 346 in one ward alone, representing Govandi and Deonar. However, this figure is based on a preliminary inspection and the department is not taking it into consideration yet. “Local officials declared these toilets dilapidated by visual inspection alone. A number of tests have to be conducted before any structure is declared dilapidated. We have asked them to do a structural audit through a licensed engineer again. Only then will we be able to arrive at a conclusion,” said Vishwas Shankarwar, Deputy Municipal Commissioner, SWM.
The cost of reconstruction of 77 toilets, which excludes the ones in Govandi and Deonar, is estimated to cost Rs. 16 crore. Apart from these, there are 30 dilapidated toilets in Kandivali and 18 in Ghatkopar, most of which are in slums. Among those that require major repairs are 20 community toilets in Mulund and 18 in Kandivali.
Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta has asked for a consolidated report of all wards and an update on all the toilets next week. Apart from the 423, the cost of reconstruction of the others works out to Rs. 16.36 crore. The corporation wants to start minor repairs by October, which will cost about Rs. 5 crore. Major repairs will cost another Rs. 5 crore.
In some cases, the toilets are under the contractor’s guarantee period while in others, the corporation is yet to carry out structural audits. Many wards are yet to submit data. Mr. Shankarwar said, “Wherever repairs were required, some wards have already started them. We have also asked Maharashtra Housing Area Development Authority to audit their own toilets.”
The city has thousands of public toilets but not all have been constructed by the BMC. As part of its slum sanitation programme, the BMC wants to build a total of 22,000 toilets in the city.
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