The Bombay high court on Friday appreciated the efforts taken by the Pune Municipal Corporation in providing additional toilets to women, who face trouble in locating a loo in public places and areas with high footfall.
A division bench of justices Abhay Oka and AS Chandurkar also allowed the petitioner, Milun Saryajani, an NGO that has been pursuing the issue for many years, to implead civic corporations of all major cities in Maharashtra, so that women there don't face similar problems.
The court was pleased by the affidavit filed by the Pune civic body stating the steps taken to address the issue. The affidavit states that the corporation will be building 46 blocks of toilets, of which six will be ready and operational within four weeks. Three blocks will be ready for use within eight months, thereafter. As of now, there are around 103 public toilets for women in Pune.
The NGO had moved a PIL in the HC claiming that there are several working women across the city and they find it difficult to use the existing toilets as they are not clean. Consequently, they suffer from ailments by virtue of not having access to a place to urinate.
The court was also informed that wet sweepers (Safai Karmachari) are being appointed at 90 places for maintaining the toilets. Electricity supply to all the toilets has been provided and sign boards giving directions to the toilets will be put up within one month.
Further an ad-hoc committee has been formed at all 15 wards, comprising of the local assistant municipal commissioner, ward medical officer and nominated representative of the NGO, as well as a representative of NGO Bhartiya Stri Shakti Jagaraon, which will conduct periodical visits to the toilets to check for cleanliness. The court has now directed the Pune Corporation to file a progress report after three months.