Pune: Washroom built for differently-abled must be accessible 24 by 7 at L.M.D Garden, Bavdhan 

Pune: Washroom built for differently-abled must be accessible 24 by 7 at L.M.D Garden, Bavdhan

Pune: Washroom built for differently-abled must be accessible 24 by 7 at L.M.D Garden, Bavdhan

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The construction of the new toilet was a result of miscommunication between the Social Development Cell Samaj and the Garden department.

19 April 2024

By Khushi Maheshwari 

Bavdhan’s LMD Chowk is home to a children’s park, also called the LMD garden. Behind the LMD garden is an E-toilet which was dysfunctional for quite some time. 

This was the case until Bavdhan’s Citizen Forum, conjointly with local leaders from the Aam Aadmi Party, looked into the issue and got it resolved. LMD garden has had a functional toilet outside it for public use. The toilet is open for people to use free of charge. 

At the moment, another toilet is under construction inside the garden which has become a point of contention between citizens and the Municipality. 

The Accessible India Campaign or Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan is a government initiative launched to bridge the gap for the differently abled community of the country. The aim of the program is to make buildings more disabled-friendly. 

Under this program, the Samaj Vikas Vibhag or the Social Development Department of the Pune Municipal Corporation decided to build a public toilet inside the LMD Children’s park for differently-abled individuals. 

However, Manish Deo, a Bavdhan Citizen’s Forum Member (BCF), highlighted certain issues. The question at the forefront of this discussion, as put aptly by Deo, is: “If it is a toilet constructed for the differently-abled community, it should be accessible to them 24/7. But since the toilet is built inside the park, it will only be open to them as per the park timings (8-11 in the morning and 4-8 in the evening), so what is the point of it being there when there’s already a toilet outside the park?”

Further he explained how the construction happened because the garden department and the Samaj Vikas Vibhaag were not synchronised in their planning and had certain miscommunications between them. 

Another pertinent question he asked was, “How will they maintain the hygiene?” He raised concerns about the safety and health of children as, if toilet hygiene is not maintained, it can be harmful for young ones coming to play there. 

Moreover, he emphasised how residents and the public should have been consulted before taking this decision since public money was utilised for this. “They should have done inspection before construction and asked the locals if another toilet was even required.”

He also said that the toilet has been under construction for about 3 weeks now and the work cannot be halted because it is close to being done.

An official of the Garden department of the PMC replied by saying, “We have made this toilet for differently-abled individuals, we construct toilets inside every garden, this garden did not have one so we made it.”