The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday directed the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority (KSLSA) to investigate the situation of public washrooms in Bangalore.
The order is the result of a petitioner informing the High Court that some of the public washrooms were being used as kitchens. The order was passed by a Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum. It stated that the member secretary of the KSLSA should conduct a survey to determine whether water is available at these facilities and whether hygiene is being maintained.
The order further requested the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to inform the order to the Member Secretary of the KSLSA. The petition for the same was filed by NGO Letzkit Foundation, which stated its concern over the BBMP not creating adequate public washroom facilities in Bangalore.
The petitioner's counsel, Ramesh Puthige, had informed the court that the few existing public toilets were in terrible shape. He further informed the court with photographic evidence that the toilets were being used as kitchens as per a report in News MInute.
Survey On Status Of Toilets
The BBMP had conducted a survey earlier on in the year on the number and the status of toilets in July and presented it to the court. This survey was conducted by the All India Institute of Local Self Government, a private institute, that compared the status of the toilets in Bangalore to other major cities in India. However, the High Court was not satisfied with this survey and the Court noted that the BBMP did not have centralized data about public toilets.
Meanwhile, in another development on Monday the Karnataka High Court ordered the District Magistrates of the state to ensure that manual scavenging is not practised. The court directed the magistrates to ensure the rehabilitation of manual scavengers and ordered them to file a detailed report as to why the survey was not completed. It also ordered the Magistrates to follow the rules of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013.