Everyone in Karachi has seen — in most cases unwillingly — the men who crouch down next to walls in empty plots and everyone knows why they do it. The city government too has finally realised that “Karachi needs public toilets the most”.
Karachi DCO Muhammad Hussein Syed has directed EDOs to prepare a draft manuscript of bylaws so that the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) could devise a strategy to establish and manage public toilets in the city.
He expressed these views at a meeting held in the committee room of the Civic Centre.
The meeting was attended by EDO Revenue Roshan Ali Shaikh, Parks and Horticulture Director General Liaquat Ali Khan, EDO Works and Services Rasheed Mughal, EDO Municipal Services Masood Alam, town administrators and other officers.
The DCO also constituted a committee, which consists of Tasnim Ahmed Siddiqui, EDO Municipal Services Masood Alam and EDO Master Plan Iftikhar Qaimkhani.
The committee has been assigned to make a policy for public toilets with the help of the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC).
“Karachi needs public toilets the most, therefore the CDGK should make bylaws for the construction of toilets in different areas of the city, especially at main public gathering points,” Syed said.
DG parks and horticulture Khan said that most parks in the city already have separate toilets for men and women but his department would ensure that the rest of the parks too are equipped with this facility.
Transport and communication EDO was told to carry out a survey of bus stops in the city and then prepare a plan for toilets at all stops, especially the main ones.
The EDO master plan was also directed to keep in mind the construction of lavatories in the development projects that are under way.
DCO asked the private sector and the NGOs to help.
Earlier, the CDGK maintained that it started building public washrooms after being directed by the Sindh High Court. The court said to ensure this facility at bus stops, markets, police stations, schools, colleges, government hospitals, graveyards, parks, shrines, town municipal administration offices, passport office, NADRA office and other public areas.
An EDO said on condition of anonymity that public toilets should be constructed but the main hurdle was a lack of money.
The CDGK does not have enough funds, however it is still trying to do all that it can to start the project. The city government should continue forming committees and finish up the surveys so that the plan could finally be implemented, he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 20th, 2011.