One public toilet for every 1,000 women in cityInfo Guide — By The Desk on August 25, 2010 at 12:10 PM
Indian Express: A city that boasts of about 17 lakh female population as per 2001 census and 48 women corporators has only 1,700 public toilets and 37 urinals for women. This has come to light through a survey conducted by P M Shah Foundation that obtained the information through an RTI application filed at the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).
In four out of 12 wards, there are no toilets for women, said advocate Chetan Gandhi of P M Shah Foundation.
According to the specifications by World Health Organisation (WHO), the ideal toilet to population ratio is 1:50, that is one toilet for every 50 individuals. Going by that, the ideal number of toilets in the city should be 34,000, which is 20 times the existing number of toilets for women. The current ratio is in fact 1:1000. Irrespective of the gender requirements, the main impediment in constructing the toilets is the lack of availability of locations. Not many prefer having a urinal or a toilet in front of their bungalow or even closer to their residence, said Suresh Jagtap, deputy commissioner, solid waste management, PMC.
Around 400 women across the strata were questioned. About 80 per cent women feel that they need to return home earlier due to lack of availability of public toilets. About 56 per cent women said the toilets are unclean, while 73 per cent agreed that they suffered health problems due to the use of unhygienic public toilets. While 44 per cent said they do not use public toilets at all, the rest said in worst case they prefer to go to a hotel or a restaurant, added Gandhi.
While the PMC claims to have taken necessary steps to construct toilets, not many know the location of the public toilets on their day to day routes. About 58 per cent women do not know where the public toilet on their route is. While 95 per cent women said by not providing enough number of toilets the civic administration was breaching their basic human right, added Gandhi.
The survey conducted by a team of 10 MBA girl-students also highlights that there is no arrangement for physically challenged women in the city, neither have any special fund allotments been done in civic budget.