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  Home >> Public Toilets >>  Draft Policy for Pay-&-Use Toilets for Mumbai 10 June 06


General Recommendations by NGO Council to MCGM regarding

Policy for Pay - & - Use Public Toilets in Mumbai  

Draft dated June 10th 2006  

By Sarita Ramamoorthy

(suggestions and feedback invited at info  

“The construction and management of toilets of a city reflect the civilization of a country and also reflect the comprehensive strength of a country and living standards of a society”  - Ji Lin, Deputy Mayor of Beijing , World Toilet Summit 2004  


·        Existing situation of Pay and Use – Public Toilets in Mumbailater.  

·        Summary of Recommendations .. later  


·        Formulate best policies/practices in provision of user-based facility, design for urban capacities, systems & processes for efficient construction and maintenance of facilities.

·        To improve quality and sustainability of pay and use toilets.

·        To make facilities safer and user friendly.

·        Commit and protect more land for public toilets.

·        Identify planning and designing aspects for toilet construction, operation and (management of costs.)

·        Put user at the centre of process.  

The highlights are:  

·        Planning and Design

·        Technology and quality of construction

·        Hygiene

·        Physical security

·        Privacy

·        Operation and maintenance

·        Implementation  

Modules should be location-specific. For example:  

·        Hawkers and sidewalks module

Users – Tourists, Pedestrians, Hawkers…

Likely locations – Tourist points, Sidewalks, Markets, Hawking Zones…  

·        Transit module

Users – Commuters

            Likely locations – Railway Stations, Bus Depots.  

·        Religious complexes  


Factors to be considered for Selection Criteria/Likely conditions:  

·        High volume of pedestrians / hawkers

·        Market zones/ hawker zone

·        Important / crowded Tourist points

·        Nearby toilets not in working/usable condition

·        No toilets in close vicinity  

Factors to be considered for Rejection:  

·        Lack of sufficient land

·        Already existing pay & use toilets in good condition in close vicinity

·        High-tension electric/ cable wires passing overhead/underground

·        Underground telephone, sewer lines that cannot be re-routed if needed

·        Low-pressure area, affecting adequate water supply

·        Adjacent to heritage structures

·        Adjacent to religious complex

·        Close to Defense area  


X toilets per Y users

(Need to get exact data on this, could not find any till now)  



Various types of users to be kept in mind while designing a public toilet facility


·        Women and Men of all ages

·        Elderly people i.e. aged people above the age of 60. (senior citizens)

·        Disabled people i.e. physically disabled, visually impaired etc.

·        Babies and small children (Age 0-8)

·        Commuters – Public and Private transport

·        Tourists and Visitors


General problems with rest room designs are:


Men’s Room –

·        Urinals – Lack of privacy and dividers for urinals

·        Stalls – Lack of sufficient number of stalls and lack of floor to ceiling privacy

·        Odors – Rest rooms should smell clean

·        Must be kept clean.

·        Noise levels – Piped in music


Women’s Room –

·        Stalls – Lack of sufficient number of stalls and lack of floor to ceiling privacy

·        Odors – Rest rooms should smell clean

·        Must be kept clean.

·        Noise levels – Piped in music


Points that help make a better rest room design:

·        Ensure safety and protection of toilets from miscreants and vandals.

·        75-80% of the total stalls provided should be Indian/ Orissa Pan, as majority of the users find this comfortable and it is also more hygienic.

·        20-25% of the total stalls provided should be Western... especially for the disabled and old people and tourists.

·        Ensure 24 hrs securities for toilets that will be available round the clock.


Elderly aged people above the age of 60. (Senior citizens) and Disabled (Physically disable and/or visually impaired) :

·        This could have at least 1 urinal, 1 stall and 2 washbasins.

·        Mostly for disabled and elderly people, who need a second help with using the toilet. The person accompanying them can help them.

·        Allow for use of contrast inside the toilet, as an ALL WHITE SURFACE can cause confusion mostly amongst elderly and disabled.

·        Special toilet seats for children and disabled wherever possible. Designs for this are already available with the MCGM.


Reducing vandalism and Anti Social Behavior through effective design:

·        Improve visibility by having and open plan design to help combating the fear of crime and increase the feeling of safety.

·        Prevent drug addicts by using unfiltered ultra violet rays (Blue light) that make its difficult for the person to see veins under the skin, making it difficult to inject drugs. 


Co-features / Additional facilities:

·        Public Telephone Booths …PCOs

·        Drinking water

·        MCGM information kiosks

·        Condom vending machines

·        Washing Machines

·        Bathing rooms

·        Baby diaper changing rooms

·        Stocking of soaps, baby diapers, toilet papers, sanitary pads etc.


Innovative design ideas:


·        Effective safe and hygienic way of disposal of human waste

Diversion of urine and faeces. Separate storage/containment devices, where they can be stored till they are safe for recycling.


·        Use waste as feed for Biogas treatment plants. Biogas is a valuable resource that is environmentally sound. Safe disposal of waste  prevents disease (Basic parameters and operational criteria available with SULABH)


·        Rain water harvesting: Rain water storage can be incorporated for these blocks to provide for the additional water requirement. It is preferable to use rain water for toilets than to waste our potable water or ground water for this purpose. Also rain water can be used to supply to the flush tanks.


·        Aesthetically designed integrated prefab toilets and recycle systems.
Compact package sewage recycle plants that can be easily mounted on top of toilet building. Sewage from the toilets can be treated and re-cycled.


·        Automatic flow of water in urinals when someone is using it.  Simple mechanical weight-sensitive spring under the footboard on which one is to stand when using the urinal. Ones weight can be made to open a tap in the urinal pot by activating a lever- based mechanism





·        Government and management aspects

·        Economic and financial factors

·        Capex costs and financing

·        Operational costs and financing

·        Income sources – advertising


Ø      While implementing policies, local realities must be taken into consideration

Ø      A balance must be maintained between technology and the social and behavioural aspects of services

Ø      Gender need priority attention when programs are planned, implemented and monitored

Ø      Cost data is needed for comprehensive and effective analysis

Ø      Convergence among sectors can maximize impact in a community

Ø      Tendering process could include safe and efficient design proposals if possible.



Public Private Partnership:


·        Centralized management at city level, with private sector agencies as delegated toilet management contractors.

·        MCGM has to support on-the-ground implementation, advocacy and policy-dialogue

·        Diverse provision and management arrangements

·        Involve local communities, LACG’s, for monitoring and private sector for management of services.


Benefits and advantages of PPP:


·        PPP is effective as alleged lack of incentive for regularly employed public servants, fail to provide good service by them

·        More responsiveness to public need and a greater performance orientation

·        Expansion in quantity and quality of public goods services that can be produces beyond levels possible under pure private or pure public arrangements

·        Strengthening of partners in a number of ways so as to make them more effective in their own endeavors

·        The addition of extra financial, human, technical & other resources from businesses, NGO’s and from service beneficiaries themselves, which in turn allow for an expansion in supply of public services

·        Greater citizen monitoring of public services

·        The creation of new capabilities in the process of establishing and being part of partnership

·        Creativity and innovation, through combining inputs and insights of individuals and organizations of different backgrounds and specializations

·        Long term commitments and partnerships produce results

·        An external agency has a greater freedom than a government does to test new approaches

·        Partnerships can maximize results, but they must be closely coordinated and mutually advantageous for each participant


Single or Multiple toilet operators:


·        Before undertaking multiple toilets, operators will have to give sufficient evidence of having the infrastructure and experience to maintain more than one pay and use public toilet.

·        Contractors have to strictly comply with rules and regulations of tendering process.

·        Private institutions and/or organizations can ADOPT and/or DONATE a toilet. (See procedures for BMC gardens and Municipal schools)


Maintenance and safety:


·        Toilets that would be available round the clock should be manned through out.

·        One of the major problems in all public toilets is the absence / shortage
of water that leads to it being totally dirty and filthy, especially for
ladies. This has to get special attention.

·        Maintenance and service parameters need to be clearly defined in the contract/tender and high standards of cleanliness and hygiene (like removal of odor etc.) should be complied with.

·        Performance should be monitored regularly (by MCGM) and if found guilty. The contractor should be penalized. Rules regarding the same need to be strictly enforced upon.

·        Signage indicating the distances between toilets in the area, showing the exact location could be placed at the toilet.




·        BMC / MCGM

·        NGOs

·        Contractors

·        Users

·        LACGs

·        Also MSEB and RELIANCE as providers of electricity should coordinate

·        MTNL should help in re routing of phone lines if needed

·        Police must help in ensuring safety, especially in areas that are prone to acts of vandalism


Need to discuss and elaborate the above




·        Educating the users is very important-specially to maintain cleanliness.

Health and hygiene education posters and signage could help in effective communication of the same.


·        BMC, Contractors and Maintenance staff need to be educated about high hygiene and safety standards. (Cleaning methods/ techniques etc)


Committees, Reviews, Satisfactions Surveys, Fines (On users and operators), Complaint Redressal mechanism, Suggestions


It is one of the beautiful compensations of this life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself. --Charles Dudley Warner