Construction sites lack toilets; leads to open defecation

City Health

In the absence of toilets at construction sites, workers have to defecate in open areas which violate the sanitation guidelines.

Rhythima Agrawal

 Construction sites do not have toilets for its employees, because of which they have to defecate in the open grounds.

One of the contractors for Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) Soma Enterprise’s Project Manager, Vikas Singh, said, “We do not provide toilets because the construction site covers a long stretch(of land).”

An officer from the BMRCL, who did not want to be named said, “We will ask the contractor to implement proper sanitation.”

The Building and other Construction Workers Act (BOCW) 1996 states that In every place where building or other construction work is carried on, the employer shall provide sufficient latrine and urinal accommodation  and they shall be conveniently situated so that they are accessible to the building workers at all times while they are in those places. It shall not be necessary to provide separate urinals in a place where less than fifty peoples are employed or where the latrines are connected to a water-borne sewage system.

Somaru Bumran,a construction worker said, “There are no toilets so we do not have any other option but going outside.”

The Karnataka Municipalities Model Building Bye-Laws 2017 state that at construction sites, one toilet must be provided per 20 employees. In a work zone with 21-199 employees, a toilet seat and one urinal must be provided for every 40 employees. For 200 or more workers, regulations call for a toilet seat and an urinal per 50 workers. The toilet must be located within 200m of the construction site or a 5-minute walk from the site.

Office of Soma Enterprises

Ramkrishna, supervisor of Soma Enterprises said, “There are no toilets and we face a lot of problems.”Not only government sites lack toilets but also  private contruction sites. They do not have doors inside the toilets and there is no soap for washing hands. The lady workers find it difficult to use the washrooms.

George Kuruvilla, an architect said, “The violators should be penalized and the matter should be taken to the court. The penalty amount should be high.”