'Loo' crisis: Mumbai police stations reek of filthy bathrooms
An investigation done by Mumbai-based publication Mid-Day revealed how some of the police stations in Mumbai lack basic cleanliness and cops have to take a leak in rotten smelling bathrooms with dry feces and fungus on floors.
Here are more details.
Malad, Bangur Nagar police stations locked in toilet battle
Bangur Nagar and Malad police stations are housed in the same premises since last November.
Both have their respective bathrooms, but the Bangur Nagar one is rickety, so they ask their counterparts for help.
However, the senior cop managing the Malad police station keeps their bathroom locked to keep 'hygiene intact'.
Upon learning this, Mid-Day thought to take a look at other police-station toilets.
There are no liquid hand-wash, soap bars. Carry your own!
And guess what, the story was the same everywhere.
At Marine Drive police station, one could see dried feces all over their Indian toilet bowls.
Moreover, the foul smell coming from the toilet will make you lose consciousness and to cover it up, the toilet door is always kept shut.
There's also no liquid handwash or soap bars, so take the germs home.
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No electricity, police personnel carry mosquito repellent inside toilet sometimes
Unhygienic places attract insects and so does the toilet of Marine Drive police station.
Constables say there's no electricity supply in the washroom and if you try to pee, mosquitoes will bite you to the extent that they sometimes have to carry mosquito repellent with them inside.
Since nature's calls are unavoidable, cops have to hold their breath while they relieve themselves.
Marine Drive police station stores outdated weapons on washroom's roof
The Marine Drive police station's washroom is also a junk storage space for police gear including rusty iron cuffs, headgears, iron-made armadillo shields, batons and more. These items are kept on the iron angles covering the washroom's roof and can collapse anytime.
We wash our hands with soil or ash: Constable
Mid-Day found a similar situation with police stations of DB Marg and Nagpada.
Most urinal pots in DB Marg were broken and men were urinating on the wall, which led them to carry most of the urine out on their shoes.
"There's no hand-wash or soap. We wash our hands with soil or ash or some bring their own paper-soaps," a constable said.
'Urinal pots are riddled with fungus gnats and drain files'
A visitor at Nagpada police station said he tied a handkerchief to tightly cover his mouth and nose, when he realized how difficult it was to venture anywhere around the washroom.
"The condition at urinal pots here is pathetic. Yuck! They are riddled with multiple holes housing fungus gnats and drain files," said Salim Khan, who visited police station for his passport verification.
In 2005, the then police chief tried getting ISO certification
Earlier, in 2005, the then Mumbai Police chief AN Roy planned to get an ISO certification for all police stations in the city.
The objective was to bring transparency in work and improve infrastructure in a bid to secure the certificate.
ISO 9000 applies to the implementation of quality management principles within government and industry like customer focus, leadership, and consistent improvement among others.
Gradually, few police stations started losing certification: Senior IPS officer
More than 10 years ago, almost half of Mumbai's police stations joined the world of standardizing work practices.
"But gradually, audits revealed that a few police stations had begun losing the certification owing to non-conformity to standardizing principles," a senior IPS officer said.
The consequence? Toilets now leave a long-lasting stench, the floors are germ-laden and doors are half-broken with no locking system.