New Delhi, Oct 20 (SocialNews.XYZ) The Delhi High Court has directed civic authorities to ensure that public toilets and conveniences are maintained with proper sanitation standards, stressing that their operation and maintenance are vital aspects of effective management.
A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula was looking at the Jan Sewa Welfare Society’s Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking the court’s direction to the concerned authorities to make available enough public urinals in the national capital and ensure hygiene, clean water and electricity supply simultaneously.
The bench expressed concern about the deplorable condition of some public toilets in the city and acknowledged the significance of the issues raised by the petitioner regarding their condition.
The court also recommended implementing a complaint reporting or feedback system.
The court said: "It is incumbent upon the respondents (civic authorities) to ensure that public toilets and conveniences are maintained with proper sanitation standards. Clearly, more proactive measures are required."
It further stressed on the importance of maintaining public toilets, stating: "We wish to emphasise that while the establishment of toilets is crucial, their operation and maintenance are equally vital components of effective management. Implementing a complaint reporting system and gathering feedback can greatly enhance the condition and usability of public conveniences."
As a result, the court directed all civic authorities to prominently display the name and contact numbers of the entity responsible for the operation and maintenance of each toilet facility at the respective sites.
This measure is aimed at enabling the public to report any concerns or inconveniences directly.
The court said that complaints should be addressed and resolved in a timely and efficient manner.
The court expressed confidence that the authorities would give due consideration to these directives and take necessary steps to address the issues raised.
The argument in the PIL makes the claim that the general public in the city experiences a variety of problems as a result of improper upkeep and unhygienic conditions in public restrooms.
It also states that poor sanitation results in a disgusting atmosphere and contagious diseases that could be dangerous for people and that it is a clear violation of the right to life and personal liberty of the public at large in the spirit of Article 21, Part III of the Constitution of India
The PIL reads: “Needless to say, the responsibility to maintain hygienic public toilets rests on the shoulders of civic authorities of the locality who are the instrumentality of the State.”
Pointing out the present government’s flagship programme to promote sanitation and public health ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’, the PIL states: “To meet the goals set forth by the Government of India, it becomes pertinent to ensure availability and access of the general public to clean public urinals, especially, in the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT of Delhi). In order to achieve the goals, set forth under the SBM, there is an urgent and necessary requirement to improve the conditions and cleanliness of public urinals.”
In addition, the PIL makes the case that the city government needs to lead the march to attain and enable clean and hygienic sanitation for both citizens and non-citizens.