e-toilet buttons block out public

In order to maintain a high standard of sanitation facilities in the city, the Corporation had awarded contracts to four firms to establish and maintain modern toilets in various parts of the city. However, many of these facilities are in poor state or remain unused.
e-toilet buttons block out public
A man after trying his hands at buttons in a e-toilet on Anna Salai relieves himself in the open

Chennai

S. Raman, a resident of Chintadripet says, “Most of us used the public toilet facility. After a portable toilet was installed in our area, we hoped that the sanitation would improve. There is a Tasmac close-by and people urinate around it when it is occupied. The place becomes so dirty, people aren’t able to use it even if they want to.”
A few months ago, Eram Scientific Solutions e-toilets launched e-toilets across the city. These small toilets are fully automatic with pre-wash and post-wash provisions. To keep the premises stench-free, the floor of these green-coloured, tin boxes cleans itself at regular intervals. An app was also launched, enabling people to locate these toilets. Forty of the 183 e-toilets are built exclusively for women. In addition, five toilets have been built for the differently-abled. The cost of each toilet is approximately Rs 4,50,000.” 
However, people say that they find it difficult to operate these structures. “There are some buttons that need to be operated to open the door. I tried to do all that, failing which, I decided to relieve myself on the footpath. It is difficult to be patient during such times,” says Ravi, a  daily wage worker on Mount Road, who struggled to operate the facilities. 
Anwar Sadath, CEO, Eram Scientific Solutions, says, “We spend Rs 5000 every month to maintain the facility. We have instructions written in Tamil to assist people who are not used to the technology. However, we are aware that the usage is less at facilities for women, where they can dispose sanitary pad. We are planning to collaborate with local NGOs to organise awareness programmes to sensitise people about these facilities.” When contacted, a Corporation official said, “The Corporation doesn’t maintain these facilities but we will look into the matter.”

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