Shops occupy city’s pay toilet and bath facilityOfficials at the Kathmandu Metropolitan City say they are unaware of the matter.
When Sagar Raj Dhami visited the public shower run by City Service Centre at Khula Manch on Sunday he was revolted by the sight and smell of the place.
“The place was nothing like when I last visited eight years ago,” said Dhami, who has come to Kathmandu from Sindhupalchok for his wife’s treatment. “A fetid stink pervaded the air. I could not shower because the place was filthy.”
Dhami was also surprised to see shops inside the facility’s compound.
The board outside reads ‘Public Toilet and Bath House’ but inside there are shops selling shoes, mobile phone accessories and electronics devices.
Bhupendra Thapa, who had come to use the facility’s lavatory, said the place looked more like a flea market.
“The Kathmandu Metropolitan City is using this facility to make profit not to serve the public,” he said.
The facility was opened by the Kathmandu Metropolitan City a decade ago to provide lavatory and shower facilities to the public.
“Sadly, the place is not well maintained and not serving its purpose,” said Susan Vaidya, an architect.
Nima Tamang, who runs the facility, said that people hardly come to take showers these days.
“It’s been four years I have been running this place. I charge Rs 80 for shower, but people hardly come here. My earnings are solely from those people who pay for using the toilets,” said Tamang.
When the Post contacted Ishwor Man Dangol, spokesperson of the city to inquire about the City Service Centre, he said the city office has not issued permissions to open shops inside the facility compound.
Hari Bahadur Shrestha, chief of the Environment Division at the city office, also expressed ignorance about the matter.
“We will soon monitor the place and take the needed action,” he said.
When the City Service Centre was opened, the city office had allowed three shops to operate inside.
“The idea was to use the rent money to maintain the facility. But now the entire concept has changed. The city is only focused on earning,” said Vaidya.
“This is not the case of the City Service Centre alone, the site of a disabled-friendly toilet at Bhrikutimandap is also full of shops these days.”
Vaidya had designed the disabled-friendly toilet built by the Kathmandu Metropolitan City in partnership with some non-profit organisations for Rs 4.1 million.
After being elected in 2017, Kathmandu Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya had promised to construct public toilets in different parts of the city in his first 100 days of office. Not even a single public lavatory has been built so far.According to a survey, there are 38 public toilets in Kathmandu city, but only a dozen of them are in operation and all of them are in poor condition.