Open defecation free city was BMC's gimmick

Even after corporation has declared Mumbai open defecation free, it still lacks 1.25 lakh toilet seats.

Update: 2017-02-14 00:57 GMT
Ajoy Mehta

Mumbai: Even after the BMC has declared Mumbai open defecation free, the city still lacks about 1.25 lakh toilet seats, if we are to follow the Swachch Bharat Mission (SBM) norms. As per the SBM norms, 2,15,850 toilet seats are needed in the city for its 64.76 lakh slum population, but there are a little over 81,000 toilet seats in the city at present.

BMC identified 118 open defecation spots in Mumbai earlier last year. Under Swachch Bharat Abhiyan, in a bid to make the city open defecation free, it was supposed to construct toilets at all these spots. It had set a target of construction of 3340 toilet seats in the city for the same, of which it completed construction of 1641 toilet seats. The BMC declared Mumbai free of open defecation in December 2016, and wrote to the Urban development Ministry, conveying the same.

Official data reveals that construction of an additional 4170 toilet seats is underway at present, which is part of the target set under the Swachch Bharat Abhiyan. However, even though this supposedly solves the problem of open defecation in the city, it still does not fulfil the number of toilets required in the city, in proportion to its slum population, as mentioned above.

Considering Mumbai has about 81,000 toilets seats based on official records, for a slum population of 64.76 lakh slum residents, one toilet seat caters to over 70 people. However, SBM norms mandate that one toilet seat must be used by a maximum of 30 people. Thus 1.25 lakh additional toilets required are still lacking.

Two years ago, the BMC faced a deficiency of 1,36,308 toilet seats based on the SBM norms. Mumbai, then, had only 79,542 toilet seats. It had set up a yearly target of toilet seat construction in the city. However, the documents haven’t been updated ever since.


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