Starting next month, if you ever find yourself in South Delhi and in dire need to use the restroom, you can walk into any of the region’s many restaurants and use their loos. But you may need to pay ₹5.
The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has just announced that all restaurants, hotels and eateries that fall under its purview will have to make their toilets accessible to the general public even if they are not availing any of their other services. In turn, they can charge up to ₹5.
All of this means, over 4,000 more toilets in the city have just been made accessible to the capital.
While restaurants have expressed their reservations over this move, the Corporation staunchly believes that this will reduce the problem of open defecation and also make sanitation more accessible.
As per the new rule, restaurants and eateries will have to prominently display the fact that their facilities have restrooms and toilets in order to keep the public in the loop.
Image for representation. Photo source: Flickr
SDMC commissioner Puneet Kumar Goel told the Times of India that the body took its cues from certain European countries that have enacted similar policies with great success. He notes, “Maintenance charges in restaurants usually vary depending on the restaurant but we have decided to keep it at ₹5, otherwise people from the lower economic groups would not be able to use the facilities. Currently such provisions are available in some European nations.”
Under the new rules, restaurants are also allowed to offer these services free of charge to the public if they choose to do so. Goel notes that if this move proves to be successful in South Delhi, he hopes that other regions and cities would also adopt it.