NDMC to re-construct over 110 public toilets

Manisha Jha

Rs.6-crore project to be completed in nine months

“Seven contenders finalised for the contract”

To include disabled-friendly access features

NEW DELHI: After facing flak for the sorry state of build-operate-transfer toilets in the Capital let out by the New Delhi Municipal Council here south of Rajpath, the civic body is getting ready to re-construct and re-furbish 113 free-to-use public toilets north of Rajpath with stricter regulations.

For the purpose of implementation, the toilets have been divided into two groups. While the first category would include toilets that have to be renovated or constructed extensively, the second category would include the ones which were earlier developed by the NDMC on a BOT basis and are now in the possession of the civic body. These toilets would be requiring relatively fewer repairs, though they would have to be modified for persons with disabilities. The Rs.6-crore project is expected to be completed in nine months after commencement and the concession period is ten years.

An NDMC official said: “We have finalised a list of seven contenders for the contract and we would be awarding it by the end of this month hopefully after finalisation of technical bids.”

Apart from including disabled-friendly access features, the toilets will also boast a stricter vigil system and prominently displayed sigh boards specifying the distance to the nearest toilet. Employees posted on duty would have to be verified from the police department and required to wear their name badges over their uniform. In addition, all the ladies’ and unisex toilets would have female attendants only. A complaint and suggestion book would also be maintained at each toilet and a copy would be submitted to the NDMC Medical Officer of Health every month.

The 92-odd BOT toilets constructed during the earlier phase covering south of Rajpath had got mired in controversy over the issue of violation of fixed advertisement space in the toilet block walls through illegal extensions and encroachments by the private contractors in charge of the maintenance.

An NDMC member said: “Last time the size of advertisements was based on the plinth area and was not adhered to at all. The contractors illegally extended the plinth area to get more space for advertisements. In some cases the space encroachment was so bad that people could not figure out that the little space adorned with huge advertisement billboards on its outer walls was actually a public toilet.”

“The NDMC had also sought a report on the condition of the existing BOT toilet blocks in its area after conducting an inspection. However, despite reporting irregularities in advertisement space utilisation by certain private contractors, they have again been short-listed for the contract,” the member added.

Seeking to correct the advertisement space violation issue, the civic body has decided to freeze the size of advertisements as per four set sizes fixed by it.

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