After the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) workers’ wages fiasco which led to the piling of garbage all across Delhi, the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) on Friday announced a New Year boon for the residents of jhuggi jhopri bastis (JJ colonies). According to the new announcement, no money will be charged from the users for using the Board’s toilets installed in such colonies and this will come into effect from January 1, 2018. The decision to remove the charges from almost 20,000 toilet seats in Delhi came after the 20th board meeting of DUSIB which was held in the national capital. The meeting was headed by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

After the meeting was held, the board officials later divulged the important details of the plan in a statement reading, “In a decision that spells relief for residents of jhuggi jhopri (JJ) bastis all across Delhi, the Board decided to waive user charges on 19,000 toilet seats run by DUSIB. These toilets will be free for usage from January 1, 2018. This comes as a New Year’s gift from the Kejriwal government to the residents of JJ Colonies. Running of these toilets for free will incur a cost of Rs 50 crore, which the Delhi government will bear. The Board also approved the Winter Action Plan and the DUSIB control room for winter relief will start functioning from November 15.”

Further details about the winter action plan will be discussed at a meeting scheduled to take place on November 10 and it is projected to begin functioning from November 15. Last year, in a bid to provide warm shelter and basic utilities to the homeless in the winter season, Delhi government set up 200 night shelters with the assistance of religious bodies. These shelters had the capacity to accommodate and feed 20,000 people and the same kind of arrangements are expected this year as well.