Although public toilets in the city were set under the Swachh Bharat mission, most of the users complained that they lack facilities
such as non-functioning automatic sanitary napkin vending machine, availability of handwash in the washrooms, Adding to their woes, the feedback machine ‘Rate my toilet’ serves no purpose as users are unable to use the machine. Even though every toilet has been provided with tabs fixed to the feedback machine, unfortunately there are only a few tabs that actually work.
M Harshita, a tourist from Odisha on her visit to the city ion recent past, noted, “Although many public toilets are set up in RK beach road, it was difficult to find a toilet which was convenient for women. In the first one that I entered, the sanitary napkin vending machine was not working. So, I had to look further. The second one I found located on the same road could not be used by women. The care taker told me it was only for gents and the ladies need to use another loo located somewhere on the opposite road.”
She noted, “It was very annoying to experience this kind of situation at one of the tourist hotspot in the city. I travelled for 2 km again in a hope to find a toilet which can cater to my needs. Finally, in the third toilet which was my last resort, had no soap nor handwash.”
Caretaker of one of the toilets on the Beach road said, “The entire maintenance of the toilet, including cleaning of the toilets around thrice a day, is done by my wife and me. The expenditure on cleaning material such as acid, phenol, brooms, mop, ‘Public toilets should have basic requirements’
brushes and soaps are met by us. All the other minor repairs to come from the income we earn. The municipal corporation solely looks after the water and electricity supply
He expressed, “There are around 60-70 users per day at the washroom that I take care of. However, the police officials, RTC bus drivers and other public servants do not pay for the services that they use. The cost of using the toilet is Rs 2, Rs 5 for bath service, and the urinals are free. On average, we do not earn more than Rs 250 to Rs 300 per day. The monthly income that we earn is sufficient to meet the expenses required for maintenance of the washroom.”
Assistant Medical and Health Officer of GVMC, noted, “Every washroom in the city is checked every day by our supervisors. It is confirmed that the toilets are dry, the premises are clean, there is sufficient supply of water and check whether the basic requirements are in place. However, in some washrooms, there are a few people who take away the soaps or handwash bottle. There have been instances where mirrors, mugs, towels and napkins have disappeared. We are trying to look into the issue and cater to the needs of the users.”
“The caretakers can also set up a small utility store so that they can sell soaps and other requirements needed by the users,”
added the GVMC official.
1. Every public toilet is open from 4 am to 10 pm.
2. Separate signages need to be Although public toilets in the city were set under the Swachh Bharat mission, mentioned for men and women. There needs to be a slope with a sidebar for the convenience
of physically challenged.
3. All the caretakers are provided with personal protective equipment like mask, apron, gloves, etc.times