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HC raps government for failing to comply with direction on toilets

The Bombay High Court rapped municipal corporations and district councils across Maharashtra for failing to comply with directions of the court to provide clean and safe public toilets for women.

Bombay High CourtThe high court had on December 23, 2015, issued several guidelines to be implemented by all civic bodies and district councils across the state while observing that a woman has the right to have a safe and clean toilet at all convenient places which in a way impacts their right to live with dignity.

The court, which was hearing a public interest litigation on the issue of lack of public toilet facilities for women in the state, had then asked the civic bodies to file compliance reports.

When the matter came up for hearing today, a division bench of Justices A S Oka and Revati Mohite-Dere expressed dissatisfaction with non-compliance of its order.

“There has only been partial compliance despite sufficient time granted to the corporations to take steps to comply with the directions of this court,” the court said.

The bench directed all municipal corporations to file their affidavits and be represented on the next date of hearing on April 22.

“The affidavits must record the outer limit by when the corporations will comply with our directions. If we find failure on part of the civic bodies to take concrete steps, then it will be viewed seriously and appropriate action will be taken,” the bench said.

The court noted that Ulhasnagar municipal corporation, instead of constructing new toilets, was demolishing the existing ones.

Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) in its compliance report said it has formed a committee which has formulated a scheme to provide adequate number of toilets for women. “Budgetary provision of Rs. 5 crore has been made for the year 2016-17 to procure e-toilets. 90 toilets have been set up in the last one year and permissions to install 48 more has been sought,” the report said.

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