Since the toilets stay locked, men urinate in public while women are forced to commute without relieving themselves.
Every day, hundreds of commuters from several colonies in the neighbourhood including TVS Colony, Tamil Nadu housing quarters, Padi Kuppam and 12th Main Road board buses from the terminus. More than 100 bus services are operated from the terminus every day with over 30,000 commuters using the facility.
Public toilets for men and women were built near the exit gate of the terminus but it remains locked most of the time. “Every time I went to the public toilet it remained locked. If it is not going to be kept open for the public use, why it should be built in the first place?” asked Murugashwari.
She said that she normally takes a bus from her home at Puzhal to Anna Nagar West to reach her office at Chinthamani. “Men relieve themselves in the public. Women passengers suffer a lot because of the locked toilets,” she said.
Another women passenger Parvathi said that whenever she enquired with the MTC officials at the terminus they blame it on the blocked drain or lack of water for locking up the toilets. “It is the responsibility of the MTC to keep the toilets open and maintain it,” she said.
Without the access to a proper toilet, the staff stationed at the terminus and the bus crew relieve in the open, particularly on the walls of the terminal, creating an unhygienic atmosphere. “We have a toilet at the room where the crew rest. But it is maintained poorly. The overflowing toilet makes it impossible for us to use,” a bus driver said, adding that if toilets are properly cleaned and maintained, staff will not urinate in open and cause sanitation issue.
K Prabhakaran, a commuter who takes the bus at the stop outside the terminus, said that overflowing sewage stagnates at the bus stop causing uneasiness for the commuters. “It happens so frequently but no action is being taken to address the issue,” he said.
A senior MTC official said that the public toilet has been kept locked because of the block in the drainage leading to overflow of sewage. “We have complained to the Metro Water about the blockage,” he said.