VIJAYAWADA: At a time when Vijayawada is aiming to get the ‘open defecation-free city’ tag as well as a top rank in Swachh Survekshan-2019, many people are forced to attend nature’s call at isolated corners of commercial spaces and markets due to inadequate public toilet facility.
When TNIE visited the wholesale fruit market in Kedareswarapet here on Friday, traders said that over the years, due to a lack of public toilet facility on the market premises, shopkeepers and customers have been using parked trucks as cover to relieve themselves, turning the market stinky and filthy.
The Vijayawada Municiapal Corporation (VMC) officials, who warned people of penal action for urinating in public places, took no measures to provide toilets or urinals, they said.
“After we pleaded with the civic body, it arranged two urinals in the market. However, two urinals are hardly sufficient for the crowd that throngs the market. Instead of making tall claims of transforming Vijayawada into a garbage-free city, officials should accord priority to constructing more public toilets and maintaining them for the convenience of the public,” said K Brahmendra, a fruit trader at the market.
“It is difficult to navigate through the internal stretches of the market because of the urine that flows on the roads. The market is said to be the largest in the State and yet it has no toilet facility for women. The absence of basic facilities for the people of a city supposedly developing on par with State capital Amaravati, is unbelievable,” said B Jyotsna, a homemaker.
Municipal Commissioner J Nivas said, “To put an end to open-defecation, the municipal corporation has constructed modern urinals at 32 locations across the city under the ‘Swachh Bharat’ initiative. As part of it, around 16 modern urinals have been constructed at Rajiv Gandhi Wholesale Vegetable Market recently. Installation of Namma toilets has also helped the civic body control open urination in some major localities.” Plans are being made to revamp all toilets of VMC-run schools, he added.
Survey of the city
A five-member team from the Ministry of Urban and Housing Affairs (MoUHA) carried out a survey in the city on Friday to ascertain the civic body’s performance and inspect the preparations for Swachh Survekshan-2019. As per the sources, the team will stay in the city for a week and carry out surprise checks.Speaking to TNIE, VMC chief medical officer for health said that as part of their visit, the representatives are likely to inspect public toilets and the functioning of on-site composting yards developed by the VMC at Rythu Bazar, Singh Nagar and Urmila Subbarao Nagar.