City-zens Give Rs 40-lakh Mobile Toilet Vans a Miss
By Krishna A | Published: 19th December 2013 08:31 AM |
It was nearly a decade ago that mobile toilet vans were introduced here by the City Corporation, with the aim of ensuring convenient and hygienic sanitation in public places. One of those vans stationed along the wayside near the Secretariat is a regular sight these days, but the fact is, it is hardly used.
“I have not seen anyone using the toilet van. If somebody gets into it, they are seen coming out covering their nose owing to the stench inside. These vans usually appear here when a large number of people gather for strikes or other events. The van would be virtually dumped here and will remain for two to three weeks. Foul smell emanates and it takes much time to clean it up,” said a woman running a tea shop at Statue. Even though a complaint was given to the officials once, it fell on deaf ears.
Way back in 2004, the then corporation council had approved a resolution to purchase 11 mobile toilet vans for the city at a cost of Rs 39.33 lakh, along with identifying a number of locations which lacked enough space for permanent toilets. The spots identified included hospital premises, market areas and other places where crowds gathered. Accordingly, a Bangalore-based company submitted a proposal to roll out a van worth Rs 3 lakh and also a vehicle worth Rs 5.5 half lakh per unit for 15 different locations.
When contacted, the then Corporation Health Standing Committee chairman K C Vikraman said that he could not even recollect the number of vans bought during the tenure of that council. The present Health Standing Committee chairperson S Pushpalatha said: “Two mobile toilet units are there at present. They are functioning well and if further maintenance is necessary, we will carry it out at the earliest.”
The mobile toilet vans with separate cubicles were designed with fibreglass, reinforced plastic and steel with a capacity to store 2,000 litres of water and sludge.
But its present sorry state is enough to cause repulsion among users. “The toilet cubicles do not have pails or mugs to collect water. Only a glass tumbler is kept, which is not clean. Sometimes, there will be no water supply or doors won’t open. My friend once got stuck inside. We fear that chances of getting diseases cannot be ruled out,” said Maneesh M S, an auto driver.