Millennium Post

Public access to restrooms: South Delhi restaurant owners not pleased

Public access to restrooms: South Delhi restaurant owners not pleased
The order imposed on South Delhi restaurants to open their restrooms to general public has not gone down well with the owners, who have agreed to the move albeit with a few riders.

The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) on Wednesday passed an order which directed all the restaurants, with restroom facilities, in its jurisdiction to keep them open to the general public at a maximum charge of Rs 5.

The order came following deliberations between the Corporation and Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, where both decided to go ahead with the move to cater to women who generally find it difficult to relieve themselves owing to the crunch of public toilets.

Overall, restaurants have welcomed the move but insisted on their freedom to refuse service when they liked. "We do not have any issue, but to maintain a brand image we cannot allow everyone," said Ravi, manager of a Costa Coffee outlet in Green Park market. Similar sentiments were echoed by other personnel in charge of the upkeep of their respective entities, who insisted on reserving the right to admission.

"Once we allowed a 'beggar' woman to use our washroom, who created a complete mess. She was using the hose to wash her legs. If such things happen, then we may have to use our discretion," said a stall manager at coffee joint in Hauz Khas.

Two others, in-charge of restaurants in the same locality, said that they need to assess the 'profile' of the customers using their restrooms.

The restaurateurs also spoke on the issue of hygiene, saying: "This is not a public toilet. How can the authorities ask us to follow this rule," said a supervisor of a resto-bar named Maquina.

The order is going to be implemented from April 1 and has drawn congruent responses from outlets. The outlets insisted on maintaining their right to admission with a refrain that they will not have an issue with the order if only a certain group used their washrooms. What needs to be pondered upon is to whose benefit has the order been issued.
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