The Kundalahalli underpass is the much needed civic amenity for the residents of Mahadevapura. But what has caused distress to them is the way the contract labourers working for it are being treated — with little or no basic hygiene.
There is just one mobile toilet for more than 60 labourers engaged in construction activities at the site. This doesn’t even spare ladies. All are necessitated to use one single mobile toilet, which is locked half of the day. This has forced the labourers to use the available open spaces to answer nature’s calls, which residents think is a serious health hazard to them.
The resident activists had approached the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) three months ago seeking the provision of at least three mobile toilets for the workers. But to their surprise, there is only one now. “There are no public toilets around the site at least for the ladies to use. If all the 60 workers use the same toilet, imagine the effect on their health,” said Anjali Saini, a citizen volunteer.
“We, as citizen volunteers have been pressing for basic hygiene since the time the project started. After so much pressure, we sought approval for three toilets. Now when inspected, we found just one, and that too locked at 12 noon. I think we as a citizen group are also taken for a ride,” she added.
The volunteers argued that according to law, the BBMP contractors “should” provide basic hygiene to the labourers at the site.
However, the BBMP officials sound quite irresponsible about the situation. “The labour sheds are in Jigani, where the workers stay temporarily. They are not using the mobile toilet at the construction site much as they come finishing everything. But considering the health hazards, we have requested the higher authorities to approve two toilets for ladies and gents each. These may appear in the next two weeks at the site,” said a BBMP official, who wished to remain anonymous.
He added: “In fact, the toilet is mostly used by ladies. Despite educating men not to use open spaces to answer their nature calls, they still continue to do so. But we are glad at least ladies are using the toilet.”