BENGALURU: Radha T would get up as early as 4 am to stand in a long queue at the community toilet at the Ambedkar Nagar slum — with 250 houses — in Okalipuram. According to Radha, the toilet, built by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), did not have power or water.
While maintenance issues were resolved four months ago, there continues to be an overall lack of community toilets in the city. “BBMP told us that funds would be released within 15 days. But it has been four months and nothing has been done,” said Radha.
She has been fighting for the cause for more than two years, until the BBMP finally decided to take action last September. “At least 7-8 localities require these toilets. They tell us that funds are yet to be sanctioned,” said an irate Radha.
Following a survey by the Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR), Hasiru Dala and Radio Active, which raised concerns over the condition of community toilets in at least 12 localities, including Ambedkar Nagar, Nagavara and Kalasipalya, last year, Joint Commissioner (Health/SWM), BBMP, Sarfaraz Khan, had told CE that they are expecting about Rs 9 crore from the Palike after talks with Commissioner Manjunath Prasad.
With funds in place, work should start in a month’s time, he had said back in September last year. However, he was unavailable to comment on the progress.
A BBMP official said some funds from the Centre and state came in three months back. “We received Rs 5.81 crore out of the total Rs 29 crore. Now, we need to receive at least Rs 9 crore from the BBMP to start work. Work should start in 15 days. Around 464 toilets will be built. It costs Rs 6 lakh to build one such toilet,” said the official.