BBMP to build 56 permanent restrooms for pourakarmikas in Bengaluru

Pourakarmika unions have been demanding permanent restrooms at all the 600-odd mustering points across Bengaluru for many years now

August 29, 2023 02:31 pm | Updated 02:32 pm IST - Bengaluru

A pourakarmika (civic worker) moving waste to a garbage transport vehicle in Bengaluru.

A pourakarmika (civic worker) moving waste to a garbage transport vehicle in Bengaluru. | Photo Credit: Bhagya Prakash K

BBMP has decided to build permanent restrooms for pourakarmikas (civic workers) at 56 locations in Bengaluru. This is over and above around 240 make-shift Suvidha Cabins in the city.

Pourakarmika unions have been demanding permanent restrooms at all the 600-odd mustering points across Bengaluru for many years now. This is for the first time that the civic body has taken up a project to build permanent restrooms. 

These restrooms will have a place for the pourakarmikas to sit, rest, eat food, and a drinking water point, apart from a changing room, a toilet and designated racks for them to keep their brooms and other equipment.

The existing Suvidha Cabins, made of metal ship containers, also have most of these facilities except a place for the workers to sit, rest and eat. As a result, pourakarmikas sitting on the floor outside Suvidha cabins and having breakfast is a common sight across Bengaluru. Moreover, these cabins heat up during summer and are almost unusable, prompting pourakarmika unions to demand better restrooms. 

“In the first phase, we have identified 56 locations where land is available to build these restrooms. As and when it is possible, we will take up construction of restrooms at other mustering points as well. We will try to make use of the existing infrastructure, like in anganwadi kendras, schools run by the civic body and other such places, to renovate and provide a restroom. The upcoming Dry Waste Collection Centres (DWCCs) can also house these restrooms,” said Dr. K. Harish Kumar, Special Commissioner, Solid Waste Management, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). 

Nirmala M., president, BBMP Pourakarmikara Sangha and a pourakarmika herself, said, “These restrooms need to be built at the mustering points, and not wherever space and land is available. Though the civic body has arranged certain facilities, like toilets and restrooms, in existing infrastructure nearby, like schools and hospitals, for use of pourakarmikas, in many places, we are not allowed to use the toilets that are assigned to us.” It is not enough if the civic body just assigns these facilities in existing infrastructure. The BBMP also needs to ensure that pourakarmikas are allowed to use them. 

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