The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has issued an order recently prohibiting the use of acid for cleaning public toilets operated by it, the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) said on Monday.
The MCD cited the Supreme Court order of 2013 that prohibited the over-the-counter sale of acid across India in the wake of raising incidents of acid attack.
"So, the provision for penalty for not using acid for cleaning purpose of toilet is, hereby, abolished/repealed from the contract. The agency/operator shall use alternate toilet cleaning material in place of acid. Violation of the instruction will attract penalty including confiscation of acid from the premises," the MCD order read.
The civic body directed all officers, field staffers and agencies concerned to ensure that "acid shall not be used for any cleaning purpose of toilets and public conveniences".
On April 6, the DCW inspected an MCD-run toilet for women near the G B Pant Hospital in Daryaganj and found a 50-litre canister containing acid.
The panel was informed by the sanitation staff that acid is purchased every month to clean toilets.
Senior MCD officers appeared before the commission and stated that no guidelines have been issued by the civic body to prevent the use of acid for cleaning public toilets.
The also referred to a term of the contract agreement between the MCD and the cleaning agency which states that in case acid is not used to clean toilets weekly, a penalty of Rs 1,000 per day shall be imposed on the agency.
DCW chief Swati Maliwal expressed her displeasure over the present state of affairs where the MCD has "illegally" directed the usage of acid to clean 308 public toilets.
Following directions from the panel, the MCD issued an order on May 18 which states that the said provision of the contract (which encourages use of acid) has been repealed and if any person is found using/storing acid in toilets, then action shall be taken against the agency.
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