South Corpn wants RWAs, traders for clean-up act

Civic body needs their help in maintaining toilet blocks

South Corpn wants RWAs,  traders for clean-up act

Despite sanitation being one of civic bodies’ primary responsibilities, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation now wants to engage the Resident Welfare Associations (RWA) and Market Trade Associations (MTA) to maintain and operate the community toilet blocks in their locality.

SDMC has invited the RWAs and MTAs to get into an agreement with the civic body, according to which they would maintain the community toilet blocks near the market and commercial areas and operate them by levying a token amount from the users.
The corporation officials said the decision is aimed at ensuring ‘community participation in maintenance and upkeep of the toilet blocks’.

“All registered market and resident associations have been invited to participate in maintaining and upkeep of the toilet blocks as they are the stakeholders for sanitary conditions in the area,” said a senior corporation official.

Officials said the initiative comes after proper consultation with the stakeholders. “The fact is, some members of RWA and MTA approached us with the suggestion of outsourcing the maintenance. The expression of interest has been issued. If the associations show interest, we would sign an agreement with them for the upkeep. Or else, we would continue to maintain them as it being done now,” said Rajesh Gehlot, standing committee chairman.

There are around 370 community toilet blocks in commercial areas in the limits of SDMC. As per plans, the RWAs and MTAs would be allowed to charge Rs 5 per person for using toilet.

 However, the service of urinals would be free of cost. Corporation would hand over the toilet blocks in maintained condition at the onset.

The idea has however come under criticism from the opposition members in the civic body.
Leader of opposition Farahad Suri termed the initiative as ‘abdication from responsibilities’ on part of the civic body.

Passing the buck

“It is nothing but passing on the buck to someone else. The corporation has experimented with such initiatives in the past. The fate of the dry urinals scheme and high-end toilets is well known. While the concessionaires are making money, the civic bodies hands are tied due to the litigation. I had opposed the proposal even in the standing committee,” said Suri.

It is noteworthy that while the civic body wants to engage other bodies to maintain the toilet blocks, they made much hue and cry when the Delhi government decided to take back the ownership of community toilet blocks in the JJ colonies a few months back.

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