Mumbai suburban railways' sanitation woes

The Mumbai suburban rail network has a shortfall of 12,000 toilet seats!

GN Bureau | June 10, 2010


Govandi---Ladies-toilets-closed
Govandi---Ladies-toilets-closed

The condition of sanitation arrangements in Mumbai's local trains' network offers no comforts to its to its citizens, says an Observer Research Foundation (ORF) report. The recently released study shines the light on the appalling condition of sanitation at Mumbai’s 109 suburban railway stations where people – especially women commuters – often are forced to avoid going to toilets and urinals. The report further mentions that  women are more prone to get urinary tract infections (UTI) due to unhygienic condition of toilets and the nonwherewithal to access clean loos on the network.

“Only 17 percent of the total numbers of toilets at suburban stations are meant for women. Worse still, 93 percent of the toilets that were found to be ‘closed’ or ‘out of use’ are those intended for women,” the report states.

It also underscores the necessity for the network to have 12,600 toilet seats to serve the needs of its commuters. Thus, the shortfall is of  more than 12,000 toilet seats!

The Mumbai suburban rail network caters to the 63 lakhs passenger daily and is known as the city’s lifeline. The study notes that ‘provision of adequate number of clean sanitation facilities does not seem to be a priority for the railway authorities.’ Squarely holding the at the Indian railways responsible for the situation, the report says that it lacks political will to correct the problem. 

“The total annual capital expenditure on passenger amenities on the Western Railway suburban network in 2006-07 was Rs. 1.47 crore, with not a single penny spent on improving sanitation,” says the report.

The report's articulatess the poser  - how can Mumbai compete with the best of cities around the world in terms of infrastructure if such is the shocking conditions of its toilet at the railway stations.

Read the report

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