Borivli station has most toilets for women

Written By Unknown on Minggu, 24 Februari 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Mumbai's suburban rail network has inadequate toilet facilities at stations for women commuters. In fact, Borivli, had 13 toilets for women commuters, the highest on Western and Central Railway's local network.

Details procured under the Right to Information Act show that of the 38 toilet/urinal facilities at Andheri, only four were for women. Of the 83 urinals and toilets at CST, only 10 were for women, including two urinals.

RTI activist Chetan Kothari, who filed the query, said, "As many as 24 stations don't have more than one lavatory or urinal facility for women."

A railway official said, "Space is a major constraint for building more toilet blocks. The effort to build one through public-private-partnership did not yield much success." Another official said, "Railways is trying to find a solution. But contractors sacrifice quality by using inferior quality cleaning agents to recover bidding costs and maximize profits." Shailesh Goyal, member, National Rail Users Consultative committee said, "Toilet blocks for women should be built on both ends of platforms. They should be well lit and manned by women personnel."

Kothari said, "Stations like Currey Road and Parel on CR and Elphinstone Road and Lower Parel have become busier because several corporate offices have shifted on mill land in this part of the city. However, authorities failed to upgrade toilet infrastructure for women at these stations. I was surprised that even stations like Bandra and Malad had only one toilet each for women."

On the Harbour line, there are 454 toilet facilities across 23 stations. Of these, 78 are for women, including 70 lavatories. "Only stations build by Cidco in Navi Mumbai have adequate toilets. Tilak Nagar, Dockyard, Sewri, Cotton Green, Chembur have only one toilet facility each," Kothari said. On WR, there are 676 restroom facilities across 30 stations. Of these 119 are for women, including 86 lavatories and 33 urinals.

Times View

Need more toilets for women

Thousands of women take the train to and from work every day and many spend more than three hours travelling, making the number of toilets grossly inadequate. Many are locked day in and day out and a walk past the ones that are in use would be enough to prove how genuine the complaints about unhygienic toilets are. Both CR and WR need to do something urgently on this front.

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