Pay-and-use toilets to be set up near some metro stations

Presently, the BMRCL allows commuters to use the restrooms inside stations.   | Photo Credit: K_MURALI_KUMAR

Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL) is in talks with the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to set up pay-and-use toilets outside certain metro stations in the city.

Ajay Seth, BMRCL managing director, said toilets would be constructed outside a few metro stations that have surplus land belonging to the corporation. “The BMRCL has made this suggestion to the BBMP. The toilets will be ready in eight months,” he added.

N. Manjunath Prasad, BBMP Commissioner, said the civic body would undertake construction while maintenance would be done by NGOs. “However, the details need to be sorted out. Once we get land from the BMRCL to build toilets, we can begin work,” he said.

Lakhs of commuters use Namma Metro every day. Presently, the BMRCL allows commuters to use the restrooms inside stations. A person, who does not have a ticket, needs to pay ₹10. However, commuters can use the restrooms only if the facility is present in that section of the station. This may differ from station to station.

Toilets — or the lack of them — have been an issue with Namma Metro since its inception. The BMRCL had opened toilets inside stations to commuters after the intervention of the Karnataka State Human Rights Commission, which had stated that absence of one amounted to a violation of human rights of passengers. The toilets were, until then, only open to the staff.

Racheal S., a media professional who uses the metro regularly, said, “The metro is extremely useful, but it has a few issues that need to be resolved. I have found that accessing restrooms in stations is difficult once you cross the entry/exit gate. I need to request the staff to let me back in so that I can use the toilet.”

Another commuter pointed to the unscientific access to toilets. “At Lalbagh station, when I was heading towards Majestic, I asked to use the restroom. One of the staff members said only those heading towards Yelachenahalli can access the toilet. Shouldn’t the station have one on either side?”

According to Shankar A.S., Executive Director, Operations and Maintenance, BMRCL, if a non-commuter wants to use the toilet in a station, they can buy a ticket and use the toilet inside. If the washroom is located in the exit area, however, people can use it for free with the minor inconvenience of being frisked.

Mr. Seth said, “The minimum charge to travel by the metro is ₹10 (smart card holders pay ₹8.5). So, it is not that they have to pay ₹10 to use the toilet. But if the washroom is in the area that is accessible only after you buy a ticket, you will have to buy one.”

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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 9:07:56 AM |

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