Pune: Ensure better hygiene in public toilets to avoid COVID transmission: writes Mohalla Committee member to Mayor, PMC commissioner 

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Pune June 23, 2020: A senior member of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) Mohalla Committee and President of Vithalrao Vandekar Foundation Dhairyashil Vandekar has written a letter to the Mayor Murlidhar Mohol and Commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad about the need for more hygienic toilets. In his letter, he suggested some points to maintain the highest standards of hygiene.

 

“There is an urgent need to not only upgrade the PMC public toilets and urinals in the city but also ensure that they maintain the highest standards of hygiene and do not in any way become transmission spots for Covid-19,” he writes in his letter to the Mayor.

 

“At the outset please accept my sincere appreciation and gratitude at the way you and your team has been toiling day and night to combat the COVID pandemic and keep the city safe. Your efforts have been truly remarkable,” read the letter.

 

“The reason of writing to you is to bring to your kind notice the urgent need for a new maintenance and operation system required for the PMC’s public toilets and urinals because these spots have been majorly responsible in the spike of the infected people in some slums and Basti areas and have the potential to become transmission points,” stated in the letter.

 

“With the lockdown restrictions being eased and efforts for normalising the public life, more and more residents are going out for their job, trades and other work. This also includes women, maids etc. As citizens are starting to step out for various professional and personal reasons in the city, the use of public toilets is inevitable. However, it has been experienced and reported too, that many citizens especially the well informed, have been seen to relieve themselves in the open given the fear of contracting Corona infection if they use public toilets, needless to mention that such practices will also have their ill effects,” mentioned in the letter.

 

To build public confidence and ensure that PMC’s public urinals and toilets do not become transmission spots, he suggests: Dhairyashil Vandekar

  • All PMC toilets/urinals must be manned with the personnel ensuring there is proper upkeep, cleanliness and no crowding in the toilets thereby ensuring social distancing is maintained.
  • Toilets/Urinals are sanitised periodically.
  • Availability of sanitizers/liquid soap in the toilets.
  • Ensure that the urinal bowls are properly distanced.
  • Encourage bio-toilets.
  • Need to make public spaces like toilets more spacious in size and airy, using quality materials for maintaining high standards of hygiene

 

“I am aware that this will definitely require additional funds and manpower but with lessons learned from COVID-19, this is something which I feel cannot be compromised keeping in mind the public welfare and must be done at the earliest. This will assist in controlling your COVID battle, workload which may increase if such spots become transmission points. Also, people who are afraid to use public toilets will be encouraged to use them as well”, he said.