Community Toilets

Two seat community toilets linked to septic tanks were the construction model used for providing toilets to the slum communities till the 1990s. Post-1999, PMC revised its sanitation model and launched various initiatives for providing better infrastructure and access to proper sanitation through community toilets.

These initiatives were - 

Demolition and Reconstruction ( D&R) -

PMC had launched the D&R Programme i.e. demolition of dilapidated toilet blocks & reconstruction of the same in 1999-2000. Several older toilet blocks were in a dilapidated condition and also did not serve the purpose for the slum communities.  A model of developing Community toilets with the participation of the community, an increased number of seats and connected to the city’s sewerage network was developed. It was implemented through the participation of NGOs like SPARC, Mashal, Shelter associates, Civic International Social Service, City clean foundation, Gramin bahuddeshiya Shikshan Sanstha, Akhil Bhartiya paryavaran Sanstha etc.

A total of 772 toilet blocks were constructed during the period 1999-2007 at an approximate cost of Rs. 50 Cr. Furthermore, every year a separate amount has been earmarked for the construction and maintenance of these community toilets.

















The program was implemented in various phases with the community’s involvement at every step. Salient Features of the program were - 

  • Paying the periodic maintenance charges and appointing a caretaker were two key elements of D and R Program that resulted out of community participation.
  • Toilet blocks were reconstructed which included toilets, bathrooms, and urinals for women.
  • Under this innovative scheme, a room for the caretaker was constructed above the toilet as an incentive to maintain the toilet. 
  • The Design for the new toilet blocks varied in size from 10 to 80+ seats.
  • The blocks were connected to a septic tank in places where a municipal sewage supply wasn’t available.
  • The blocks were also provided municipal water supply and electricity as well.
  • A user fee of Rs. 10-30/- Per month was charged for this facility. Urinal facility was also made available at public places and markets.

Operations and Maintenance -

It was widely accepted that operations and maintenance of the toilet blocks would ensure its sustainability.

O&M was hence done by -

  • A ‘pay and use’ system for new toilet blocks adjacent to existing public roads
  • A user fee of Rs. 10-30 per family for new toilet blocks within slums.  The caretaker had the right to restrict access to only those families that paid for the service provided.
  • In case of no appointment of caretakers, maintenance was managed by PMC staff

Outcome -

  • Over 15000 toilet seats mean reduced cases of open defecation
  • Greater community participation in designing, implementing and maintaining the toilet blocks
  • Increased participation by women in the whole process ensured their empowerment
  • The participation of the local communities also made sure that the designs would suit their needs

Projects and Partners


Even after construction of the community toilets and installing a maintenance model, the maintenance of the toilet was still posing a challenge to the PMC. Thus, to further improve Sanitation access to the urban poor and to make the city “Open Defecation Free”, PMC implemented the SHWAAS project. The Project is being funded by the European Union Delegation to India and is implemented in partnership with local NGO, CHF India Foundation.

The purpose of this project is - 

  • Increased access to functional and well-maintained Community Toilets, Use of Community toilets built by the ULB with ownership and responsibility of O&M by residents
  • Establish a door to door segregated garbage collection system & have an organic waste management plant. (Biogas)


Samagra, an organisation working towards providing toilet facilities to slums dwellers, approached PMC to implement its models in the Pune slums. PMC in 2013, partnered with Samagra to implement its model, for construction/redesigning of 50 toilets in 15 slums in the city @ Rs. 1.8 Cr, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.