Waterless urinals raise big stink

MCDs take over toilets meant to be run by private contractors

Overflowing toilets, lack of cleanliness and stolen pots mark the sorry state of affairs of waterless urinals in posh south Delhi. So much for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

These toilet blocks were intoduced in 2010 and given to private players on build, maintain and operate basis. Contractors were supposed to make money from the advertisment they were allowed to put on these sites and in turn were responsible for their upkeep. 

The municipal corporations have recently started the process of taking over the waterless urinals across the city. A senior official with the Central Zone of the south civic agency said all the 72 waterless urinals have been taken over on October 1. “By October 31, we plan to convert them into conventional toilets with water facility,” he added.

During a visit to waterless urinals in Lodhi Road, Ashram, Siriniwaspuri, Amar Colony and Lajpat Nagar on Friday, Deccan Herald found insanitary conditions. Nothing has changed since the last visit to these urinals on September 7.

“The toilet is so dirty that I cannot urinate there,” said a government official who was found attending to nature’s call next to a waterless urinal on Lodhi Road. The pots in the urinal were clogged with filth.

The condition was the same at the only toilet in the main market of the Ashram area. “Nobody comes daily to clean the toilets,” local resident Satya said. 

“The urinal was in a horrible state. We got the partitions made inside the urinal so that people don’t pee on walls. But the condition hasn’t changed,” he added.

On whether there has been some improvement in cleanliness after the Clean India initiative, Satya said, “Nothing has changed for those living here.

Shopkeepers face problems because customers don’t come to this side of the market due to the stench.”

There is no urinal for women in the area. “Women go to shops or nearby houses to relieve themselves,” said Sharan Kumar, who runs a shop in the locality. 

In Sriniwaspuri, a toilet block has not been cleaned since December last year, the month when Delhi Assembly elections were held. 

“When the Aam Aadmi Party was contesting the Assembly polls, this urinal was cleaned. Since then no official from the corporation has come to clean it,” said local residents’ welfare association member Inderjeet Singh.

Private contractors continued to make money through advertisements and ignored the maintenence of toilets. A waterless urinal in front of LSR College is closed but the rare side of the wall is used to put a big hoarding.

The situation of dhalaos (roadside dumps) is no different. There is a huge pile of waste overflowing from a dhalao in Amar Colony. 

“I dump garbage here. Loaders come once in three days to pick up waste,” said Robin, who was throwing waste into the dhalao around noon. “The MCD vehicles don’t come daily to collect waste,” he added.

Another dhalao in Siriniwas Puri was overflowing with debris. “A sanitary inspector complained to the civic agency that garbage has not been collected regulary from any of the dhalaos in this ward,” an assistant sanitary inspector of the area said.

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