Swacch Survekshan: Panchkula MC installs 9 sanitary napkin vending machines night before team visit

A night before the Swacch Survekshan team’s visit to Panchkula, the Panchkula Municipal Corporation installed sanitary napkin vending machines at nine locations across the district.

The nine new vending machines were installed at the district’s newly-renovated washrooms on the night of January 18, as the Swacch Survekshan’s team was to arrive on the coming morning.

When questioned about the location of the vending machines, a member of the team of staff, who installed the vending machines, said, “We do not even remember. We did not have a written list. We had just exchanged messages on Whatsapp regarding the locations. Everything had to be done so quick as the team of the Swacch Survekshan was to visit the next morning. We did it over night.”

The vending machines were placed at two washrooms in Sector 20, Kalka MC office in Sector 11, Sector 7a, Sector 8 near the post office, MDC bus stand, Sector 25 market and at Yavnika Park.

However, the vending machine at Yavnika Park was removed a day later. An MC official said, “The vending machine was damaged by the miscreants, so we had to take it away.”

The vending machines were purchased for Rs 65,000 each from a private firm named Colors Infrotech India. The machine provides as many as three sanitary napkins at a cost of Rs 10 and besides currency notes, it accepts coins of Rs 1, Rs 5 and Rs 10.

A total of 20 vending machines were bought by the Panchkula MC. While ten vending machines were bought by the MC in 2018, another ten were added to the lot last month.

However, only nine were placed as “one has been kept on hold to be installed when there is a high demand in an area,” officials said.

The locations, where the first ten sanitary napkin vending machines were installed, includes, Sector 14 MC office, Sector 4 MC office, Pinjore MC office and Sector 12 A community centre, among others.

The civic body has also installed bio-medical sanitary napkin burning machine at various public toilets to incininerate the used sanitary napkins disposed of there.