Sanitation raises a stink in state’s pilgrimage city

Published: 22nd July 2013 09:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd July 2013 09:53 AM   |  A+A-

Puri may have been one of the most important landmarks in Odisha’s tourism map, but it is badly in need of a sanitation plan.

Not just for health of lakhs of tourists but also for the brand image of the famous pilgrim town.

The Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) for Puri Konark Development Authority has called for immediate attention of the Government to protect the environment and ensure a health hazard-free tourism.

The study had found that toilets in the town are in a state of extreme despair and neglect leading to open defecation and urination not only by the locals but also tourists.

On an average, about 42,415 tourists visit Puri which pegs the daily inflow at 1,413.

The CDP has found that public toilets are insufficient to cater to the demand while improper maintenance has led to reduced usage and redundant infrastructure. What has compounded the problem is poor design, improper flushing mechanism, gender insensitivity, lack of public awareness and absence of community toilets in the slums.

The Comprehensive Development Plan identified certain critical areas which are hotspots of poor sanitation.

Large stretches of Swargadwar road, railway station road and Marine Drive are recorded as areas where open urination is rampant.

The sweet water zones of Talbania and Baliapanda are open defecation spots because of slums in the region.

Similarly, the scenic Atharnala, Narendra Tank and Swetaganga tank area are also marred by similar practices.

The CDP has suggested that there has to be adequate number of public toilets and urinals built in the pilgrim city so as to cater to the demand.

Since public toilets are of poor workmanship, sub-standard materials and are ill located, Ahmedabad-based Centre for Environment Planning and Technology (CEPT) which has prepared the CDP suggested that the facilities must adhere to minimum technical standards stipulated by the Ministry of Urban Affairs and Employment.

To ensure better design and workmanship of the public toilets, community toilets and the urinals, design and construction must be taken up through the detailed project report approach so that the vendor is aware of the standards to adhere to.

It has made projections of Rs  11.12 crore for establishment of public toilets, community toilets and urinals in the pilgrim town.

Similar projection has been made for Konark too where an estimated Rs 3.56 crore has been chalked out by the CEPT which says that the sanitation measures must be part of first phase work.

Reality Check

On an average, about 42,415 tourists visit Puri which pegs the daily inflow at 1,413.

Large stretches of Swargdwar road, railway station road and Marine Drive are recorded as areas where open urination is rampant

CDP has made projections of Rs 11.12 crore for establishment of public toilets, community toilets and urinals in the pilgrim town

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