A sorry state of affairs

DIRTY CONDITION

Few choices: Public hygiene is a matter of concern.

The City is bogged by many problems with one of the major problems being public urination. Every other day, we see people relieving themselves in public places.

The BBMP speaks endlessly about the City’s planning and development but when it comes to public sanitation and hygiene, it seems to be quite dormant.

Although there are public toilets present in all corners of the City, maintenance has been an issue for a long time. The condition of these toilets is far from acceptable.

Metrolife takes a look at the state of affairs and how public sanitation has become a serious issue of concern. According to an official from the BBMP, there are about 108 Nirmala toilets and 100 public toilets installed in the City. When asked about the poor maintenance of the toilets, a BBMP official says, “The whole system is responsible for the poor maintenance of the toilets. Due to the negligence of the contractors, the toilets are being maintained poorly. The people must also know that they should not dirty the toilets when they use them.” When asked if the BBMP is taking steps to ensure and prevent public urination, the official says that the commission is planning to install 600 toilets in core areas of the City to ensure that public urination is prevented.

Dhananjaya Bhat, an IT recruiter, feels that people lack common sense despite being educated.

“In spite of the signboards, people resort to answering nature’s call on the streets. The worst part is that they don’t confine it to the streets alone but wet the compounds and walls of buildings, which is all the more horrendous,” he says.

Both the authorities and people are responsible for it, feels Jyotsna, a student. “People must have the basic courtesy to flush the toilets after use. However, the problem with public toilets is that they are maintained poorly. The bolts, locks, flushes and handles are forever in a state of repair. Things like these compel people to relieve themselves on the streets instead of using public toilets,” she says.

The terrible part about urinating on the road is that the stench emanates and spreads across to other places causing health problems.

Says Dr Madhusudhan, a general physician, “Urinating in open spaces is a major cause for infectious diseases. It is also a breeding ground for mosquitoes which can lead to malaria, dengue and chikangunya. The only way to prevent this is to impose a fine on those who urinate in open spaces.”

But what can be done to counter this problem? “If people are really concerned about their surroundings, they must at least spare a thought before urinating on the roads and control the urge to do so. They must also make sure that since maintenance is a big problem, a penny or two would not make a difference when they pay it at Nirmala or any other public toilet,” sums up Asha Venkatachala, a project analyst with a private firm.

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