Residents of Malad in suburban Mumbai are happy that a bio-toilet has been installed at the nearby Aksa beach, with three seats each for men and women, and one for the differently-abled.
The toilet, installed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) with help from the Maharashtra Maritime Board this January, has brought relief to Mona, 61, a resident of Aksa village. After losing a leg in a fall from a local train in 2018, Ms. Mona had found it difficult to use public toilets in a wheelchair.
“Though women are considerate and always help, it is difficult for a single, disabled woman to use public toilets in the city,” she says.
However, an official from the BMC’s solid waste management department says a water connection has to be fixed before the solar-powered toilet can be opened for the public.
“Aksa beach sees high footfall and we are facing some water issues. Biodigester tanks with a capacity of 5,000 litres that treat human waste have been fixed in the bio-toilet. These tanks do away with the need for a separate sewer line, which would be challenging to place near a beach,” the official says.
The BMC will be installing such prefabricated toilets at Girgaum, Dadar-Mahim, Juhu, Versova, Madh-Marve and Manori-Gorai beaches at an estimated cost of ₹3.2 crore.
The project was launched after the National Green Tribunal directed the BMC in 2021 to install toilets to ensure that the city’s beaches are not soiled.