Greater Chennai Corporation has proposed a makeover for public toilets that are not in good condition in the city.
Corporation Commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi conducted a meeting on Monday to review all aspects of public toilet facilities in the 200 divisions of the city. The commissioner has ordered officers to come up with innovative ideas in two weeks to improve the public toilet facilities. The clean public toilets are also expected to promote public health during any pandemic situation.
According to a study done by Chennai Corporation officials last week, the civic body has been maintaining 832 public toilets in the city. Just 289 public toilets out of the 832 toilets are found to be in good condition.
Chennai Corporation officials have been directed to prepare estimates for improving public toilets, increase seating capacity, improve the quality of toilet fittings and facilitate water supply for all the toilets.
Chennai Corporation is expected to identify a few locations, along important bus routes, to construct well-designed toilets with artwork and improved architecture, greenery and water supply to help commuters in need of such services.
Residents have complained that most of the toilet fittings have been of inferior quality in public toilets.
"Many residents have also complained about encroachment of corporation land near public toilets. For instance, many toilets in Mylapore area had large open spaces a few decades ago. Now the land has many encroachments. If the Corporation removes encroachments near public toilets, they will be able to develop a well-designed toilet building like that of New Delhi," said S. Mangala Raj, former Corporation Councillor.
Inadequate manpower to maintain the toilets of Chennai Corporation has emerged a major challenge in the city.
Former councillors claimed that over 300 employees belonging to certain community were maintaining the toilets many decades ago. Currently, the civic body is planning to focus on mechanical cleaning and maintenance of public toilets in the city.
A few residents’ associations have also requested the Chennai Corporation to use the services of architecture students from institutions such as IIT and College of Engineering Guindy to propose a good cost effective architecture for toilet buildings for Chennai Corporation, adopting to local conditions.
In the past few weeks, Chennai Corporation officials have cleared areas with reports of open defecation and have constructed public toilets in slums of North Chennai, following the initiative by HR and CE Minister P. K. Sekar Babu. At least 50 slums require public toilets in various parts of the city to prevent open defecation.
More than 80 public toilets have also been demolished in the past 10 years. But new public toilets have not been constructed at the locations where public toilets were demolished.
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