Former Deputy Commissioner Sasikanth Senthil had ordered the Mangaluru City Corporation in October 2018 to build a public toilet near Pumpwell (Mahaveer) Circle, which is teeming with thousands of people.
Senthil had been responding to a letter from girl students who had described the inconveniences faced by women, in particular, due to lack of public toilets at Pumpwell Circle. With two national highways – NH 66 and NH 75 – criss-crossing the Pumpwell Circle, hundreds of women and differently abled citizens disembarking from or boarding buses face many hardships due to the lack of such a facility.
The students, pursuing social work, had also carried out a study that had revealed that there was no public toilet around a radius of four kilometres from Pumpwell Circle. Many residents – especially whose houses were located behind the Pumpwell bus stand, had complained to the students of people, particularly men, relieving themselves at their lane. Their many complaints to the Corporation had, however, fallen on deaf ears.
The girl students were elated when the Corporation constructed a toilet complex near Pumpwell Circle in January this year. Their joy, however, was short-lived. The toilet complex remains locked and out of bounds for the public.
No power, water
A cobbler, whose shop is near the complex, said that although the work was completed in January, the building had received electricity connection merely weeks ago. “The building also does not have plumbing facility,” said activist G K Bhat.
He had filed a complaint with the Corporation, that the construction of the toilet complex had deviated from the conventional model. Poor quality tiles had been used in it, too. “As the work was poor in quality, I had urged the Corporation commissioner not to release money to the contractor,” Bhat told DH.
Shanady Ajith Hegde, City Corporation commissioner, did not respond to calls by the DH correspondent.
Sources said that the doors of the toilet are likely to be thrown open to the public after the MCC council election in December. Bhat, however, expressed apprehension that with elected representatives and the public remaining silent, there was no one to mount pressure on the Corporation to expedite the work on the toilet.