Pimpri: When the government is working hard to provide public and individual toilets to make cities open defecation free (ODF), a public toilet which belonged to the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) was razed to the ground by some unidentified people at Santoshi Mata Chowk in Nehrunagar.
The PCMC, which could not prevent the demolition, lodged a police complaint after activists raised this issue with Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar on Monday.
The two-storey toilet, which had separate facilities for men and women, was constructed 13 years ago by Sulabh International on a public-private partnership. A large number of people from the area used this facility, but since it was demolished on Saturday night, people in the area have been forced to go use the Hindustan Antibiotics ground to attend to the nature’s call. There were 24 blocks in this facility.
Local politicians had anticipated the attempt to grab the land, on which the toilet was built, by some people. They had even alerted the civic body about the possible demolition. However, the PCMC did not do anything to prevent it.
Local activists approached Hardikar and Mayor Nitin Kalje. Later, Assistant Municipal Commissioner Anna Bodade lodged the complaint with the Pimpri police against unidentified people.
When contacted, Bodade said, “The facility was run by Sulabh International. It was a ‘pay and use’ facility. The Pimpri police are investigating the matter.”
BJP’s Ajay Patade said, “The local corporator had attempted to demolish the structure in 2006. But people managed to save it. This time, people with vested interest first stole the water pump supplying water to the toilet facility. Sensing trouble, we wrote to the civic chief. However, even before the PCMC could do anything, the facility was brought to the ground.”