ISLAMABAD: It seems that all the relevant departments in the Capital Development Authority (CDA) did not notice the poor conditions of public toilets in the federal capital till the chairman, Maroof Afzal, intervened in the matter on Saturday.
Presiding over a review meeting, Mr Afzal expressed concerns that out of the 93 public toilets in the capital city, 32 were dysfunctional.
“The remaining operational public toilets need repair and maintenance,” he said.
Since the meeting ended with the observation that properly functional public toilets contributed significantly towards a healthy atmosphere, it was decided that Rs9 million would be allocated for the project to rehabilitate the dysfunctional toilets and improve the existing ones.
Under the current system, there are some 32 public toilets being operated by the CDA or the market associations while 61 are being run by contractors.
But the contract says that all the repair works and monitoring are to be done by the civic agency.
A large number of the public toilets remained non-functional because the departments concerned failed to carry out even minor repair works.
“The repair works are to be done by the engineering department. Besides, there was a weak monitoring system in the past,” said an official of the sanitation department.
It means that if the same procedures are followed, the condition of the public toilets would remain the same.
Besides, the CDA cannot take any immediate action against a large number of public toilets that are being operated by the contractors because the one-year lease ends in March 2014.
The chairman directed the officials to devise a plan to make the dysfunctional public toilets fully functional and to repair the rest of the toilets.
The chairman has even made several visits to various public toilets and found most of them in pathetic conditions or encroached upon by slum dwellers, mosques and in some cases by other departments of the CDA.
The chairman during the meeting further said work to repair the dysfunctional public toilets should be carried out in phases.
It was also decided that in the first phase 10 model public toilets would be built to replace an equal number of dysfunctional toilets.
The model public toilets would be equipped with state-of-the-art facilities to ensure hygienic conditions in the vicinities.
The remaining dysfunctional toilets and those to be repaired will be reconstructed and rehabilitated on the pattern of the model public toilets.
The chairman also said before sanctioning the repair and maintenance of the remaining public toilets, he would inspect the model public toilets.
The CDA also plans to establish 13 new public toilets mainly in the commercial centres in F-11, G-10 and other sectors.
But the meeting failed to discuss the state of the public toilets in the parks. These toilets are operated by the environment wing and have a higher priority towards maintaining greenery in the parks.