The 46 toilets, which will be open 24×7, will be built across the city at a cost of Rs 28.1 crore. They are part of Phase II of a project the civic agency took up two years ago. Under Phase I, 25 precast toilets were proposed to be built at a cost of Rs 16.8 crore, of which only 10 have been completed even though work began in March 2021.
Incidentally, BBMP took up construction of precast toilets so that they could be built in a short span of time. Besides, they come with a clean and dry toilet facility, sensor-based flushing for urinals and water-saving tap fixtures. They also come with a technique to eliminate bad odour, provide ample ventilation and solar power lighting.
Asked about the Phase I delay, Bhimesh H, executive engineer, SWM, BBMP, explained, “Even after the tender was approved, we had problems with land and opposition from citizens to have public toilets in their midst. Providing water and sewage connections also leads to delay, so we might have to extend the deadline.”
“Tender processing of Phase II has been done and we are waiting for the work order to be issued. The phase is tendered for five years of operation and maintenance. The tendered company will take care of manpower to maintain the toilets. However, SWM will be in control and the company will be held responsible if it doesn’t comply with any project clause,” Bhimesh explained. Other civic officials said contractors’ grouse over uncleared bills is delaying work on the toilets.
Among the 10 precast toilets readied under Phase I, the ones at National Institute of Unani Medicine, Sumanahalli bus stop, Mysore Lamps Factory in Malleswaram, Bandipalya bus stand and Silk Board bus stand are functional at present. Two toilets each in Adugodi police quarters and Sarakki Lake and one at ITI Layout Park will open soon with 95% of the work completed.
SWM is also working towards opening 100 ‘She Toilets’ (separate toilets only for women). These will have menstrual pad-vending machines, disposal machines, and feeding rooms. This project is under tendering process, said Bhimesh.