Lack of maintenance of public toilets force citizen to ‘go’ in Public

Health Taluk

Maski grapples with open-defecation. No visible results despite complaints to the Gram Panchayat.

Yumna Ahmed

People of Maski village prefer open defecation as the public toilets lack maintenance and proper hygiene. Bande Nawaz, a local of Muraladinni Tanda in Maski, is still hoping for usable public toilets in their villages, so that hygiene can be maintained.He said, “due to lack of water supply and infrastructure people avoid public toilets. People have filed complaints to the Gram Panchayat, yet they are delaying it.”

Ambresh, a member of the ZilaParishad confirmed that there is a lack of water supply and proper hygiene in the villages of Maski.

 He said, “Under the Swatch Bharat Abhiyan toilets were made in all the villages, but people are not aware of the hygiene and therefore, they prefer open defecation. The toilets lack water supply, but the Panchayat is looking into the matter.

Shivmora, a local of Bayalagoda in Maski complained about the same condition of the Public toilets. He said, “I don’t know about Swatch Bharat Abhiyan and there is no water supply in the toilets so we don’t use it.Most of the time it is locked. I generally go for open defecation since the toilets are mostly either closed or broken.”

Basavaraju a Panchayati Development Officer, said, “We have constructed toilets and the government has also provided subsidy for infrastructure, but, the people don’t use it. Therefore, water supply is also not available.”

According to the Swatch Bharat Mission—Gramin, toilets in every village must be constructed by the Gram Panchayat or by individuals after they receive funds from the government.

A report by Down To Earth Magazine in 2018, shows that funds for the Swatch bharat Mission—Gramin has been reduced.

Another report by Down to Earth magazine, explains the many barriers of construction of toilets under Swatch Bharat Mission.

Gopal, a local of Mugdal and also a sweeper at BBMP office said, “There is no water in the toilet and now, it is used just as a storeroom. The panchayat is not helping so if you complain it might be effective.”

The condition of women  is worst in the villages as they don’t have proper hygiene facilities and there is no mahila sowchalaya (women’s toilet) in most of the villages.

Fatima Begum, an Anganwadi worker said, “There is only one mahila sowchalaya near the bus stand in Mugdal and we have to control most of the time until we are home.”

Suresh, an auto driver said , “public toilets are broken, and, inspite of complaining to the Panchayath Development Officer, there is no progress. We have to open defecate since  all  toilets are broken.”

 Sri MalageVishwanatha, Controller of Sulabh International an urban planner explained the need of public toilets in the taluk.

He said that“The overnment has to bear the cost of maintaining the toilets, but people are not willing to even pay the basic amount to use it so they avoid public toilets and prefer open defection. If the government maintained toilets are used diseases can be minimized and the health of the people can be maintained as well.”