Hyderabad: Hyderabad’s civic bodies the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation and the Secunderabad Cantonment Board that cater to more than 1.2 crore residents, have so far not formulated any public toilet policy. Currently, the GHMC is busy replacing public toilets with bio-urinals for both men and women (tenders have been called for bio-urinals for women), while the Cantonment Board has no say in public toilet construction.
Several wards within GHMC limits and most of them in the Cantonment limits do not have public toilets. As of now, there are a total of 50 Sulabh complexes, 136 toilets functioning under build-operate-own-transfer model and 57 that are by the engineering department in the GHMC areas. This apart there are 60 public toilets in the Cantonment area. That means there are 303 toilets to serve a city of 650 square km. Approxi-mately 20 per cent of the public toilets in the GHMC area are encroached, and another 30 per cent are defunct. Even the GHMC officials admit that about nine public toilets were knocked off because of the road widening process for the Metro corridor.
Another major reason for no toilets in all wards is resistance by the residents. Locals in a particular colony protest against the construction of public toilets. Many existing toilets are destroyed and broken. Some have been outsourced to other agencies which maintain them well, but the rest of them are not functional. That apart, there is no proper planning during the construction of toilets and no survey has been done on areas that need more public toilets.
On the topic of public toilets for women, authorities said, “Bio-urinals, exclusively for women and children, will be set up in the Greater Hyderabad jurisdiction. Similar to the men’s toilets, these will be equipped with a self-cleaning mechanism. They too will be solar energy-powered, with traditional power back-ups in case of emergencies. The usage will be free of cost. Sites will be identified for their installation. Bus stations, railway junctions as well as the IT corridor will get these toilets.”