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Community Toilet Blocks
Projects in a nutshell
In 1999, the Municipal Commissioner of Pune, Ratnakar Gaikwad, sought to greatly increase the provision and usability of public toilets by inviting NGOs to bid on toilet construction contracts. The new program planned to build 220 blocks during the period of 1999-2000 and another 220 during the period of 2000-2001. The contracts were not only for building toilets but also for their maintenance. In awarding contracts, priority was firstly given to settlements with more than 500 inhabitants and without toilet facilities; secondly, to areas where facilities were so dilapidated that they needed replacement.
The design of the toilet blocks introduced several innovations. Unlike the previous models, they were bright and well ventilated, with better quality
construction (which also made cleaning and maintenance easier). They had large storage tanks to ensure that there was enough water for users to use after defecation and to keep the toilets clean. Each toilet block had a separate entrance and facilities for men and women. A block of childrenís toilets was included, in part because children always lose out to adults when there are queues for a toilet and in part because many young children are frightened to use conventional latrines.
The community toilets in Pune were so celebrated that officials and community representatives from other cities visited them to see how they had been implemented. The Mumbai Slum Sanitation Project is based on the Pune precedent.
Policy + Impact
In 1998, through advocacy efforts of the Alliance to provide sanitation facilities to urban slum dwellers, the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (with World Bank funding at the time) called upon NGOs to demonstrate pilot slum sanitation projects. Since, then the alliance has constructed several toilet blocks across Mumbai using the funds provided by the authorities and has had several impacts on sanitation policy.
01 Policy: The Indian Alliance along with the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) played a significant role in developing the open defecation free policy, which became a national policy in 2009-10.

02 Procurement: The alliance set norms for allowing NGOs/urban poor to take part in the implementation of sanitation projects under various government schemes.

03 Maintenance/Operation: The alliance advocacy to form Community Based Organizations (CBOs) to give them the responsibility of the operation and maintenance of the toilet block was included as part of policy in 2006 under MCGM toilet projects.

04 Design: In 1995, the alliance set new norms for toilet design, including pour-flush latrines in equal numbers for men and women, specially designed childrenís squats, a community hall and caretakerís room on the upper floor of toilet blocks.