According to the new proposal by Railway board, ‘pay and use’ toilet of Railways will get cheaper or will be free in some smaller railway stations.
The new policy will allow the Divisional Railway Managers to decide if they want these toilets to be paid for or keep them free for the public use, hence Divisional Railway Managers are being empowered.
Currently, the ‘pay and use’ toilet’s amount is being decided by the contractor who builds the toilets as policy allowed.
Letter dated February 7 from the Railway Board to all zonal railways after the Board’s meeting on February 2 said that:
“DRMs are empowered to make location-specific assessments to decide whether construction, operation, maintenance of the pay and use toilets should be taken up as an ‘earning contract’ or a service contract,”
The need for a review of the pay and use toilet policy was felt after reports that an adequate number of toilets were not being built under the Swachh Bharat Mission and that people were not using these toilets at small rural railway stations, as mentioned in PTI.
“Now, DRMs can decide, depending on the kind of stations they are catering to, and see if the pay and use system is commercially viable or not”, said a senior official of the ministry.
While pay and use toilet tariffs at railway stations differ from place to place, according to a 2012 guideline for such toilets, the railways has fixed up to Rs two for latrine and Rs 5 for using the bathroom or both bathroom and latrine. It levied no charge for urinals.
Under the new policy DRM’s have been allowed to sign MOU’s with non-profits which specialize in such toilets.
As stated in PTI officials said that the new policy will be reviewed in a month’ s time.
(Inputs from PTI)