The organisation wants the BWSSB to set up a new sewage line.

Public toilets in Lalbagh and Cubbon Park could soon be closed if authorities dont step in Image for representation
news Sanitation Sunday, June 04, 2017 - 12:36

The public toilets in Lalbagh and Cubbon Park, that are used by hundreds of visitors everyday, could soon be shut down.

The sponsor company that runs and maintains the three toilet complexes in Cubbon Park and two in Lalbagh, has said that it cannot operate the loos any more if it does not get the required support from authorities, The Times of India reported.

Phoenix Cabins Pvt Ltd is a sponsor under the Swachh Bharat Mission and had taken the responsibility to maintain the toilets for a period of three years.

It says it is now facing a shortage of funds and needs the help of the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), failing which it may have to close the loos within a month.

The organisation said that the pits of the toilets in both the parks are filling very quickly. The long-term solution is to connect the toilets to the main drainage pipeline and it wants the BWSSB to set up a new sewage line.

"Around 700 to 800 people use each toilet complex every day. The addition of water to the waste is leading to quick filling of the pits. We've been spending Rs 35,000 to Rs 40,000 per month for each complex. We have written several times to the BWSSB about this problem but they haven't responded," Satish Kumar M, Manag ing director, Phoenix Cabins Private Ltd, told TOI.

Earlier this year, Bengaluru slipped from the 38th spot to 210 in the Swachh Bharat rankings and the woeful shortage of public toilets is said to be one of the reasons for its drastic fall.

2.5 years on, Swachh Bharat Mission's claims remain unverified

Although Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has sent India on a toilet-construction spree, 51.6 per cent of households across the country did not use an improved sanitation facility -- a system that separates human excreta from human contact -- between January 2015 and December 2016.

Household toilet availability has improved from 41.93 per cent in 2014 to 63.98 per cent in 2017, and Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Kerala have achieved 100% open defecation-free (ODF) status, data from the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation show (as of May 22, 2017). However, almost all the progress reported by the ministry has been through no third-party verification, due to which the World Bank is holding off a $1.5 billion loan it had promised.

The World Bank, which had promised a loan of $1.5 billion for Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin -- the rural arm of the mission -- has not released the first instalment which was due in July 2016 because India has not fulfilled the condition of conducting and announcing results of an independent verification survey.

It has rated the overall implementation progress of the programme as "moderately unsatisfactory."

With IANS inputs

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