Worried about finding a clean public restroom? If you are a woman or a child, you can now just walk into any hotel or restaurant and use the facility there.
The city’s hotels and restaurants have decided to allow women and children to use restrooms for free. Though a formal decision to this effect has not been taken yet, the hotels and restaurants’ associations have expressed willingness to open the restrooms to non-customers. This is to show solidarity with the Swachh Bharat initiative.
Chandrashekhar Hebbar, president of the Bruhat Bangalore Hotels’ Association, said this is not a conscious decision taken now as women and children have never been restricted from using restrooms at their hotels. He added that while hoteliers in Delhi have decided to collect a nominal fee, Bengaluru’s hoteliers have no such plan.
H.B. Rajeev Shetty, vice-president of the association, said the decision was inevitable, given the low number of public toilets in the city. “However, small darshinis and eateries may not have restrooms. Citizens can make use of the facility in any hotel or restaurant that has a toilet,” he said.
K.S. Vimala of the All-India Democratic Women’s Association welcomed the move. Saying that it would benefit women greatly, she stressed the need to ensure that restrooms in hotels and restaurants are kept clean and hygienic. “This is of utmost importance, as women are prone to contracting urinary infections,” she said.
She also said the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) should construct more public toilets. “It is the responsibility of the local administration to provide for public convenience,” she said.
The BBMP has 75 e-toilets in the city, and 80 more are in the pipeline. Incidentally, in the 2017-18 State Budget, the government has set aside ₹50 crore for the construction of 1,000 public toilets in the city.