It's a common sight in the country to watch people relieve themselves in public despite the number of public washroom facilities coming about. Among the many reasons attributed to this behaviour is either the hygiene conditions of the washrooms or the mindset which motivates people to relieve themselves in the open than pay a rupee or two to use the public bathrooms. Resolving the latter concern, the Odisha government has now adopted a new measure that would make all public washrooms in the state free to use.
No More User Fee Charged
People residing in Odisha will no longer have to pay to use public washroom facilities. Staying true to its idea of being accessible to the public, the community toilets set around the state's urban areas can be used without spending a rupee. The Housing and Urban Development (H&UD) department issued an official notification in this regard and has also directed all municipal corporations, municipalities, and NACs to implement it with immediate effect. No user fee would be charged thereafter from citizens in any of the public and community toilets in those jurisdictions.
As per the new regulations, the public washroom facilities would have to display the message "No User Fee" through display boards and wall paintings in front of the toilets. According to The New Indian Express report, such a system would ensure that even those unaware of the government directive would be kept informed. If any facility is found to violate these new regulations, citizens can reach out to the 'Mo Sahar Sarkar' helpline number 0674-2391395 and lodge a complaint.
One of the reasons why there was a nominal fee charged at most public facilities is for its maintenance and to pay those in charge of handling the facility. To ensure public washrooms are maintained with standard hygiene, an amount is usually allocated to pay the cleaners and other staff. Addressing this aspect, the department has asked the urban local bodies (ULBs) to meet the expenditure of daily upkeep of such facilities from the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) Urban fund.
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