Vol. 5 Num 755 Wed. July 12, 2006  
Star City

Mobile public toilets - a welcoming idea

Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) and Cleantech Limited, a private organisation will together set up 50 mobile public toilets in different spots in the city by the end of this month.

Cleantech is financing the project aiming to improve sanitation facilities for city residents.

"Fifty mobile public toilets are not sufficient for a city like Dhaka where more than one crore people reside. We would like to construct 500 toilets initially in the greater interest of the people," said Sufi Iqbal Ahmed, chairman, Cleantech.

According to the Cleantech's project plan two models of public toilets would be installed, both designed and built by their own expertise using local materials.

One is a 16-cubicle potty-on-wheel that can be moved from one place to another by a towing vehicle. This is separated into male and female sections, maintaining privacy required by our culture.

"We have a small portable model, consisting of two urinals and a commode. This particular model has advertisement space on three sides of the trailer," said Sufi Iqbal.

The corporation has fixed the rate for urinating at Tk 2 and defecating at Tk 5.

An official of the DCC's Beautification Cell said that there was an immediate need for toilet facilities across the city as thousands of pedestrians, visitors, and local people are using open drains or roadside walls to relieve them, creating an extremely unhealthy environment.

"We are now seeking sponsors for the toilets, and different private organisations have assured us of their cooperation," said Sohel Farouquie, DCC's chief conservancy officer.

City dwellers, especially office-goers, garment factory workers, and students have expressed their satisfaction over the plan of setting up these mobile public toilets.

"Due to the acute inadequacy of toilets many males to tend to urinate in any corner of the city creating public nuisance, and women suffer more leading to serious health complications," said Abdul Haiyek, a resident of Mirpur 10.

"Perhaps this is an end of our sufferings, as I feel bad when I use public toilets when I am out of my workplace," Haiyek said.

Ferdousi Begum, a government employee, from Arambagh expressed her pleasure."I spend long hours at my workplace, and the mobile toilets facility will be of immense convenience to me," she said. "The DCC should set up more mobile public toilets within short distance in the entire city," she added.

The sites selected to set up the toilets are the north and south gates of Baitul Mukarram, the north and east gates of the National Stadium, Dainik Bangla crossing, Premier bus terminal, Balaka crossing, Shapla Chattar, Alico Bhaban crossing, Tikatuli bus terminal crossing, Dilkhusha ladies and gents bus terminals, near Agrani Bank, BCCI Bhaban, stock exchange office, Ittefaq Bhaban, and EPB Bhaban.

Besides these spots, toilets will also be set up near Gulistan cinema hall, GPO Bhaban, National Press Club, High Court, National Museum, PG Hospital, BIRDEM Hospital, Nilkhet and Gausia Markets ABC Building and Dhaka College, Pir Jangi Mazar, Naya Paltan and Science Laboratory crossings, Kalabagan bus terminal, Russell Square, Manik Miah Avenue, Farmgate, and Mohakhali, Chairmanbari, Kakoli, and Banani bazar bus terminals, and Gulshan-1 and Gulshan-2 Squares.