Every now and then we get that moment to be proud of our city and BMC. Looking at the space limitation and the need for more public toilets, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has planned to transform scrapped Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) buses into AC toilets for women.
Shivani Kuthe said, “I think it is a really sensible initiative. Currently, if you are in a public place and need to use a washroom, you have to find a cafe or a restaurant, because either public restroom are not there or they are too dirty to access. Hopefully, these new buses are cleaner and they are maintained over long durations of time and the sanitary napkin dispensers are well stocked. Having said that, I also don’t think having it exclusively for women makes sense, either. Does this mean that they encourage men to urinate in public which is already such a public hygiene issue in our country? If they are planning to bring out these changes, I think they can keep some of the buses for men as well.”
This project was proposed by BMC corporator Sachin Padwal and the pilot project will be initially launched at Marine Drive. If this pilot project gets expected success then BMC aims to have these toilets in fifteen other places across the city. The mobile toilet would be named as “Ti Sauchalay (her toilet)” Ti stands for ‘her’ in Marathi. There is lack of hygienic public toilets in the city hence BMC wanted to take some measures to improve these bad conditions.
Raveena Sharma Assistant executive said, “I think it’s a good start to support females and to take care of their basic needs and security. I totally support this initiative.”
This is exclusive toilet for women commuters; there would be sanitary napkin dispenser and a breastfeeding compartment inside the bus. Padwal’s proposal of mobile toilets is as per BMC’s guidelines, constructing toilets on footpaths is forbidden and therefore this is the perfect way to utilize all the available resources.
Sarah Mark, student said, “I feel it’s a good initiative even though we have other important things going on in India right now. But a second thought to it would be putting so much effort on these scrapped buses is not really required. Instead they could just rebuild public toilets and make it a better place with extra benefit for women (like sanitary napkins and a space for breastfeeding) that would be a better idea. Because even if you make the toilet look too luxurious at the end of the day, people will make it look like a public toilet.”
One of the committee members at BEST, Shrikant Kawhatkar stated that as BEST buses have a long history it shouldn’t be converted into toilets, even if they do so they should remove the BEST logo. It’s great to see BMC coming up with such great initiatives to utilise scrapped BEST buses in such a unique and creative way. It is the need of the hour in a congested city like Mumbai.
Saburi Vilankar, content writer, Livingetc magazine said, “I think this initiative by the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) is really great and mainly important. I would like to share this incident that I remembered during the heavy rains water logging in Mumbai this year. Residents of Matunga literally gave access to the commuters who were stuck in transportation. This was related to me by my good friend. So after hearing about it, I really feel that the BMC has picked up an intelligent step ahead.”
The conversion of scrapped buses into toilets was first started in Pune, with 12 such super luxurious and hygienic toilets. Hope BMC too gets equal success ahead.