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SDMC toilet order is just token service, not for homeless, poor; here’s why


The South Delhi Municipal Corporation has ordered all restaurants, hotels and eateries to open their toilets to the public for a meagre charge of Rs 5. Speaking to IE, Mukesh Yadav, SDMC Chairman, said that the decision was taken to give the public more access, especially women. He further informed that it was the Lieutenant governor was the one who actually suggested this and after consulting the public, including owners of restaurants and hotels, the decision was taken and would be implemented from April 1, 2017. All in a good spirit. But perhaps, the SDMC missed a few points before taking the decision, in regards to the inconvenience caused to the owners and their customers and not to mention, the hygiene in these places. FYI, there are 580 public toilets in South Delhi, of which only 140 are accessible to women.

And that there is the SDMC’s biggest flaw. However, let us take a look at all the problems, that could arise if and when the decision is implemented:

1) If you might have noticed, most of these restaurant owners do not stop anyone from attending nature’s call. On requesting politely, you could get your job done for absolutely free.

2) Making it legal has a causality. It is giving free reigns in the hands of the people. Imagine running a restaurant and catering to your customers, while trying to have a look at how many and who else is entering in for just your Rs 5 services.

3) Maintenance is another major problem here. We have all seen the conditions of public toilets. People are most likely to hold it and use them. Now, whether that is a problem with the workers or the public negligence is another subject. The fact of the matter is making it legal is an uncharted territory and it definitely brings out the problem of hygiene and maintenance of these toilets.

4) A few restaurant owners are even right to worry about security concerns it involves. What happens when a group of drunk people want to use their right to use the restroom and cause inconvenience. Not every restaurant or eatery along the way has enough security or arrangements to attend such people.

5) Thomas Fenn, co-founder of Mahabelly restaurant in Saket spoke of the owner’s right to admission. Speaking to IE, he said that the hospitality scenario involves the right to admission, which should remain exclusively with the restaurant.

Honorary mention:
The poor, ragged and the homeless: Are we to believe that even if these men, women and children will be allowed into hotels and restaurants?

This decision, not only poorly reflects on the administration for being populist in the light of the elections but also smells of authorisation. The purpose as such is difficult to understand. Is the SDMC trying to hide the fact that it has failed to provide public sanitation facilities as per the requirement of the public and is feeding off of private facilities? Besides, which one of us unemployed souls is going to complain to the SDMC if restaurants do not allow us. Instead of providing token service in light of the elections, the SDMC could improve the conditions of the existing public toilets.

Source: The Financial Express

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