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  Answer nature’s call in a toilet that saved trees

Answer nature’s call in a toilet that saved trees

Published : Sep 24, 2016, 5:52 am IST
Updated : Sep 24, 2016, 5:52 am IST

(Left) One of the trees that have been accomodated during the construction of the toilet, and (right) Shubha Raul.

(Left) One of the trees that have been accomodated during the construction of the toilet, and (right) Shubha Raul.

Former mayor Shubha Raul has redesigned a proposed public toilet outside Dahisar station in such a manner that there would be no need to fell two trees blocking the plot finalised for the public convenience facility. Instead, the trees have now become a part of the project that was undertaken under the Swachch Bharat Abhiyan.

The toilet was inaugurated on Thursday, and is now open to the public. It also has murals painted on it, depicting trees, flowers and birds. The walls are painted in a green colour. Moreover, a plaque placed at the foot of one of the trees reads, “Thank you for saving me.”

As per the original design of the toilet, two huge, old trees would have to be chopped down to accommodate the entire structure.

The toilet was being constructed by an NGO, Sarvodaya, after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) allotted land to them. When they approached Ms Raul, a local corporator, to share the design of the toilet, she asked them to accommodate the trees in the design. However, after being told that the chopping of the trees was inevitable unless they compromised on the number of toilet seats to be constructed, Ms Raul redesigned the toilet, which has now been constructed around the trees. The public convenience facility retains the original number of toilet seats.

Ms Raul said, “We want to send a message to all residents, who will be reminded about the importance of protecting the environment every time they come to the toilet. Also, it has been beautifully painted, which adds to the aesthetics of the area, since it lies right outside the Dahisar railway station.”

Meanwhile, Ms Raul plans to further decorate the structure by putting up other informative plaques around it, which would demonstrate the importance of trees. One such plaque will read, “Each tree gives 50 per cent more oxygen per day than any one human being breathes in.”

Of the total of 12 toilet seats in the facility, two have been reserved for women.

The project received the BMC’s approval over six months ago, under the Swachch Bharat Abhiyan. It had to be constructed at that very spot where it now stands because there are no other free community toilets in the locality.