Activists raise a stink: Less than 200 GHMC toilets for the entire city of Hyderabad

Only half of the public toilets installed have facilities for women.
Activists raise a stink: Less than 200 GHMC toilets for the entire city of Hyderabad
Activists raise a stink: Less than 200 GHMC toilets for the entire city of Hyderabad
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The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), won accolades earlier this month after it adopted a 'Gandhigiri' initiative to end open urination in the city.

The plan was that certain workers of the GHMC would spot their culprit, and wait till they were done, before greeting them with claps and a garland.

The idea was to shame the person into using the toilet.

The GHMC's move came after the earlier efforts to impose penalties failed. The municipal body fined 3,500 persons in a single week, and noticed that it yielded no results. 

While the initiative saw a lot of praise on social media, city activists have alleged that the GHMC is the one at fault, as there is a severe shortage of public toilets in the city.

For a city as populated and large as Hyderabad, officially, GHMC only has a dismal 184 toilets.

There have also been reports of gender bias, as only half of the 184 public toilets that have been installed, have facilities for women.

Even in the 1,000 bio-urinals, which have been planned along busy stretches in the city, only 200 of them are reportedly for women.

"The GHMC has followed a 1:2 ratio, to build toilets for men and women in the city. This ratio is baseless and the authorities have simply assumed that there are fewer women out on the roads, in comparison with the number of men. The GHMC itself employs around 20,000 female staff who sweep city roads," urban planner Anant Maringanti told the Times of India.

A protest by the 'Common Man Forum' (CMF), was organised on Wednesday, demanding construction of toilets in the GHMC limits.

Those present included Jayprakash Bharat, President of the CMF, Amjed Ullah Khan, Spokesman of the MBT and Sai Teja from NGO FLY.

The members sat outside the GHMC office in the city, which itself had an unhygienic toilet outside, and demanded that the municipal body to take up the issue on a priority basis and build more toilets. 

Earlier in the week, activists had also asked the civic body to build more toilets for bus drivers and conductors.

"Many of us regularly travel by TSRTC buses and it makes for a very depressing site to see our bus drivers and conductors forced to defecate in the open in the absence of TSRTC toilets in any of the bus stops in the city. We respect their fundamental right to answer nature's call in privacy. One can imagine the plight of lady conductors," the activists had said in a statement.

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