The sorry state of affairs

The sorry state of affairs

Public Toilets

The sorry state of affairs

While the City boasts of its numerous parks and lakes, it cannot speak highly about the state of public toilets here.

The lack of maintenance, repairs or provision of basic facilities like water has rendered many of them virtually unusable.

Overflowing faeces, non-functional flushes and bad stench are only a few of the problems whenit comes to these toilets. However, the BBMP has a different opinion.

“Fifty per cent of the west zone toilets are given to the BBMP by a contractor
to build and maintain them.

The rest are maintained as pay-and-use Sulabh toilets by individual contractors or leased to dependent contractors for a period of five to seven years.

The toilets are cleaned everyday using a jet pump tanker. Bleaching powder is also spread out to keep it clean,” says T Jayaram of
the BBMP.

All claims apart, how regularly are these toilets cleaned?

If what the BBMP is saying had really been the case, toilets in areas like K R Market, Vyalikaval and Banaswadi would not have been left to rot in dirt or worse, close down.
While most toilets are too dirty to use, there are some exceptions to the rule.

The one inside Shivajinagar Bus Depot is an example. “There is cleaning going on throughout the day at this toilet. Thousands of people come and go but the sweepers stay on.

The government had made this toilet a few years ago and does look into the maintenance every now and then,” says the operator of the Shivajinagar toilet, who does not wish to be named.

All he has to do everyday is to ensure that each customer pays two rupees to use the facility.

This unit with six Indian toilets for each gender and several urinals, functions quite smoothly.

A few other areas that boast of clean toilets are Rajajinagar and Jayanagar.

Interestingly, most of the toilets only require women to pay for using these.

For them, paying for the toilet is better than having no toilet at all.

“Most of the public toilets in India, not just those in Bangalore, are disgusting.
It is rare to find a clean toilet. But the only solace is that these days, you can find
at least one in every area.

The flush or latch might not work but it does make it easier for people who
have to travel a lot,” says Lalita, who prefers using toilets in a mall or restaurant.

In June, the BBMP had announced that it has sanctioned 1,000 public toilets in the City, which will be based on the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.

But at the pace at which things seem to be going, it looks like it’ll be a while before the City can boast of safe, clean toilets for all its residents.