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Marine Drive in Mumbai is one of the most iconic tourist places where people like to visit often. On Tuesday, this place got a whole new plushy public toilet. This swanky public toilet costs a whopping amount of Rs. 90 lakhs approximately which now has got the tag of the city’s most expensive toilet.
It is being designed keeping in mind, the Marine Drive’s art deco architecture and has been constructed by under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative by the Jindal Group and Sematech. This public toilet has been handed over to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for day to day maintenance. Municipals have decided to keep this facility free for upcoming months, after which they will start the service with a particular amount of fee.
Generally, BMC spends around Rs 25-30 lakh for the construction of any public toilet but this is the first time most of the building material and designing came at zero charges to the civic body.
Akshat Gupta, the co-founder of Sematech, said, “Several other companies and consultants have contributed their expertise and materials free of cost for the [Marine Drive] project. The design of the toilet goes with the art deco architecture [around] and was built using weathering steel. It has solar panels installed on the roof which will generate enough power to illuminate the toilet”.
Further adding he said, “We have made sure that the waste is not disposed in the Marine Drive bay and will be carried from the sewage tanks to the civic body’s sewage treatment plants”.
On Monday, Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray inaugurated the public toilet which located opposite the Air India building. “This is a world-class facility being made available to citizens. The toilet has been built under the CSR but it is our responsibility to keep it clean and well maintained,” he said.
Also, Kiran Dighavkar, the assistant municipal commissioner of A Ward (Fort, Nariman Point), said, “We will observe the maintenance and the usage of the public toilet for the next two months and will then decide if we should continue it without charging users.”
Harshita Narvekar, the local Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) co-operator, said, “The idea to build this toilet was initiated by Nariman Point Churchgate Citizens Association last year. The existing toilet was poorly maintained and needed to be revamped”.
A civic official, who wished to remain anonymous, estimated that it could cost the BMC up to Rs 1 lakh per month for the toilet’s maintenance including cleaning of toilets, sewage transport, and maintenance of solar panels.