No agency for maintenance of  Balgandharva restroom

ST Correspondent
Thursday, 14 September 2017

Authorities unable to open the new facility at auditorium citing hygiene issues

Pune: While the debate over the cleanliness and maintenance of the restrooms at the city’s auditoriums started with the social media posts of Marathi actors is still fresh, the availability of restrooms itself has become another issue on the premises of Balgandharva Rangmandir on JM Road.

Speaking about the delay in the opening, Prakash Amrale, In-Charge of the auditoriums owned by Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) said, “Cleanliness of the toilets at the auditoriums is our utmost priority these days. While the washroom has been constructed, the tender did not include its maintenance contract. Thus, we will not be able to open the washrooms until and unless the requirement is fulfilled, as we are very concerned about the hygiene issues.”

Indoor washrooms
When asked about the unavailability of the facility, Amrale added, “The auditorium has indoor washrooms, which the artistes and the audience can use. As far as their drivers are concerned, there is a washroom facility available at the residence provided to them by us. Also, if other visitors are in need, we do allow them to use the inside washroom.”

However, a visitor, on condition of anonymity, stated that whenever there is a show at the auditorium, those without tickets aren’t allowed to enter, even to use the restrooms. “There have been times when we have requested them to allow us to use the washrooms but they haven’t allowed us. It is really frustrating that despite having a washroom in the premises, we are unable to use them when in need,” she added.

Visitors stopped
The auditoriums in Pune, like Balgandharva Rangmandir, aren’t just cultural centres with large premises, gardens and canteens, these have also become hubs for people to hang out, come for morning and evening walks. 

A senior citizen who is a regular visitor to the premises said, “We are allowed to use the inside washroom as we have been coming here for an evening stroll for years now and the staff recognises us. But I have seen them stopping other girls from entering. There should be a restroom at a place like this that is visited by so many people every day. At the same time, the staff, as well as the visitors, should do their best to keep the washrooms clean considering it their responsibility.” 

Absence of facility
- The newly constructed washroom on the premises of Balgandharva Rangmandir is shut in want of maintenance. 
- Staff says indoor washrooms for artistes and visitors and washrooms at the residence for drivers are available. 
- However, those without tickets to the shows are not allowed to use the washrooms located inside.

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