The toilet stands surrounded by filth and many days of garbage, an impossible to reach island for whoever is in need to use it. The facility seems broken and unusable even if one ignores the surroundings. The toilet unit looks relatively new and to have been installed in recent years.
As the city is grappling with the inadequacy of public toilets, poor maintenance and neglect has left what was certainly once a perfectly usable facility for the people. This is a testament to larger issues that face public toilets in the city. A recent survey by Dhagam Foundation on toilet facilities for women had majority of the women respondents state that they were unable to use public toilets due to poor maintenance and broken facilities.
“I take this route on my daily commute and I’ve seen this toilet degrade to this unusable state for many days. The garbage accumulation is one issue but the fact that the toilet was in disuse for the waste to add up is a real problem. I am certain there are many people who will be in need to use a toilet and the callous attitude towards fixing this facility is appalling,” says Kadhir, a passer-by.
Radhika, a homemaker who uses the road to drop her kids off at the bus stop, said, “Another concern is the stench. It’s very difficult to navigate the area too, as now people have started using it as a garbage-dumping place. Whenever it rains, I’m also worried that it will lead to breeding of mosquitoes and that will cause diseases like dengue.” Calls to the Zonal Officer of the area from DT Next regarding the situation went unanswered.
DT Impact: New pumps installed at Royapuram
Two months after DT Next carried a report on the lack of amenities, including the lack of access to water on 9th and 10th Street in Anjaneya Nagar in Royapuram, Chennai Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) has set up three water pumps on these streets. The report, ‘Royapuram residents, activists pour out civic woes to officials’ that appeared on August 5, had highlighted a number of issues, including overflowing sewage water and open manholes. The officials who were briefed of the residents’ grievances included those from Corporation and Metro Water. Now, couple of months later, the CMWSSB has installed three hand pumps for the people. The residents have welcomed this, pointing out how they had to travel to other streets to fill water for daily use. V Hemraj, a resident said, “We have at least 60-70 families residing on each street. The pumps have solved our problems.”