The Corporation has rolled out a new operation and maintenance model for public toilets.
What’s it about? The Corporation currently maintains public toilets in more than 900 locations. By early next year, it’ll finish constructing 366 more toilets. Research showed that public toilets remain unused due to poor maintenance. A pilot initiative began in July to outsource this to three types of contractors – women self-help groups (SHGs), private companies, and community-based entrepreneurs.
- The contractors have ensured the toilets are open throughout the day and a cleaner and supervisor are present. The Corporation has fixed the doors, taps, and pipes.
- Women’s toilets have sanitary napkin vending machines, and for disabled and senior citizens, there are assistance mechanisms. The feedback has been positive in some locations.
Challenges and the future: Progress has been good, but there’s still the issue of scalability and sustainability of this type of model. One challenge is while rightfully offering these services for free, the workers have to be paid on par with other sectors. There’s a proposal to have ads on the walls to generate revenue.