E-toilets get thumbs down from Mysureans

The condition of e-toilet near Sangam Theatre in Mysuru. dh photo

Over 50% of the electronic public toilets (e-toilets) in the ‘Heritage City’, are not in a working condition, due to lack of maintenance and other reasons. The Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) has invested lakhs of rupees to establish modern facilities, which are not in use.

The city has a total of 23 e-toilets, but, nearly 50% of them are not in a working condition. The high-tech toilets were introduced in 2016, amid much fanfare, in an attempt to make the ‘Clean City’ open-defecation free. But, the project is almost a failure, forcing the people to attend to nature’s call at open spaces.

The first modern toilet was established on D Devaraj Urs road, one of the busiest commercial streets in the city. Later, e-toilets were established is phases, at various places. Each e-toilet costs Rs 5 to 6 lakh and a private contractor managed them for a year.

People blame MCC

The citizens blame the MCC authorities of negligence and wasting taxpayers money.

“The MCC has invested a huge amount on e-toilets, but, a majority of them are defunct. The officials and people’s representatives should have a concern for people’s money. Without a proper study, how did the MCC take up a project?” asked Uday Kumar, a resident of Saraswathipuram.

‘Not for senior people’

A morning stroller, also an elderly citizen, Veerabadhraiah said that he tried to use an e-toilet next to BM Hospital bus stop, several times, but, failed. “I could not operate the new system due to modern operating system. The MCC must have created awareness about operating the new system,” he said.

The members of Mysuru Rakshana Vedike had staged a protest, demanding proper maintenance of the toilets.

According to officials, a majority of the people, particularly women from rural areas, are reluctant to use e-toilets. The people visiting the city from rural areas prefer traditional toilets as they are not familiar with operating the system. There were attempts to steal the coins stored in the e-toilet. People are also reluctant to use the facility by paying money.

An officer said that an audit report will be submitted to the higher-ups and necessary action will be taken soon.

Mayor Pushpalatha Jagannath said that out of 23 toilets, 10 are not functioning due to technical or other reasons. “The MCC has planned to establish traditional toilets as many people are reluctant to use e-toilets. We planned to shift a few toilets to other places, where crowd is high,” she said, adding that the project is not successful as expected.

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