102 toilets built, 194 under construction, Delhi govt tells HC on PIL for separate washrooms for transgenders
New Delhi, Sep 11 (IANS) Delhi government on Monday informed the high court that 102 toilets have been built and 194 more are under construction exclusively for the use by transgender people here.
On the Public Interest Litigation by Jasmine Kaur Chhabra, who had sought direction to construct separate washrooms for the third gender on the ground that the absence of such public toilets makes them prone to sexual assault and harassment, a bench of Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad had, in March, set a deadline of eight weeks for constructing public toilets for the concerned while warning that it would seek personal appearance of the top officials the Delhi government and the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) in case of non-compliance.
On Monday, a bench of Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula said that it will dispose of the plea while observing that substantial progress has been made.
The counsel for the social welfare department apprised the court that efforts are being made and further action will be promptly taken.
Regarding the number of toilets constructed and are planned to be in Lutyens’ Delhi, NDMC’s counsel told the court that 12 toilets are operational and tenders for construction of 79 more have been handed.
Earlier, the court had noted that the Delhi government’s status report stated that the process of construction was stated to be underway and no public toilets have been built for the transgender population. It was also noted that the status report filed by the NDMC also indicated the existence of paper work but the ground reality is that nothing has been done.
The court had observed that the status report has been filed in which it has been stated that the state has taken appropriate action keeping in view the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act in the matter of construction of public toilets for transgender persons but the report also reveals that toilets have not been constructed at all.
“Feasibility report does not mean that toilet has been constructed and therefore eight weeks’ time is granted by way of last indulgence to the NDMC,” the court said.
“It is also made clear that if the toilets are not constructed within the aforesaid period, the court shall be directing the appearance of Secretary, PWD on the next date of hearing,” the bench had said.
Counsel appearing for the Delhi government had assured the process of construction will begin soon.