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Navi Mumbai's e-toilets to get replaced due to misuse, maintenance issues

They were initially lauded for their eco-friendly features and automatic operation. However, they soon faced practical and security issues.

Navi Mumbai's e-toilets to get replaced due to misuse, maintenance issues
SHARES

Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) is replacing e-toilets with traditional restrooms. This decision comes after ongoing reports of misuse of toilets and maintenance issues.

E-toilets were introduced in 2015 and funded by CSR programmes. They were initially lauded for their eco-friendly features and automatic operation. However, they soon faced practical and security issues. 

Public complaints included coin-operated doors not opening, electrical outages, and insufficient water flow despite full tanks. Additionally, thefts from coin-operated boxes and misuse by anti-social individuals became common. 

There have been incidents where people got locked inside because the doors would not open even after inserting coins. Problems with water and energy also persisted, even with full tanks.

There were also reports of coin boxes being frequently stolen by thieves. The situation worsened when the pay-for-use system changed to free entry. Poor maintenance and incidents like fires deterred many people from using the e-toilets. This led to their misuse by anti-social elements for illegal activities. 

As per reports, the authority has received bids from social organisations offering CSR funds for constructing and maintaining these restrooms in key urban areas. The goal is to provide reliable sanitation services that meet community needs.

The decision followed evaluations and public feedback, which showed a preference for stable sanitation infrastructure over problematic e-toilets. The toilets, which will be installed now, will focus on high-traffic areas and major thoroughfares to meet the sanitary needs of residents and visitors.

NMMC is designated as an Open Defecation Free (ODF) city by the centre. It consistently ranks among the nation's cleanest cities, according to the Swachh Bharat Mission. Over the years, NMMC has built public restrooms with 6,857 seats available, and the number is still rising. 

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