BENGALURU: A mere 600 public toilets for about one crore population. And most of these are either non-functional or unusable as they are filthy.
There are 198 wards in the city and only some of them have just one or two public toilets.
This is the dirty picture that Bengaluru presents on World Toilet Day on Wednesday. Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is responsible for sanitation and setting up of public toilets in various places. When contacted, BBMP Commissioner Laxminarayana said the maintenance of the 600 toilets has been given to contractors and BBMP monitors it on a daily basis.
Asked why so many areas lacked toilets, he said, “We set up public toilets as and when there is a demand for them in the area.” Express found that most areas in the Central Business District lacked toilets. If you decide to go shopping in Shivaji Nagar, Commercial Street, Majestic area, Cubbonpet, Chickpet, Gandhi Nagar or KG Road, you will find that these areas don’t boast of a public loo.
Even tony areas like Koramangala and Indiranagar or showcase streets like M G Road and Brigade Road that are packed with people on weekends and evenings show up on the ‘No Toilet’ list.
Deepti V (name changed), who hangs out with her friends every weekend, says, “I once walked for more than 15 minutes in search of a loo but did not find one. I had to then request the manager of a local restaurant to let me use their toilet, to which he grudgingly agreed.”
Many say that they prefer shopping in malls due to the problem. “I have a three-year- old-son and if he wants to take a toilet break, I want the toilet to be clean and hygienic. Street shopping means that I either have to make him pee in a street corner or wait till I get home,” says Shivaprasad.
Shivajinagar councillor (Jayamahal) M K Gunashekar says that a public toilet is a necessity nowadays.
“Every morning we see so many walkers and joggers. Many step out in the evenings. Not everybody can go back home to use the toilet,” he says.
But ask him why his area lacks one, he says, “I had asked the previous Mayor Satyanarayana Katte to set up toilets in my ward to which he had agreed. He said he will make e-toilets available but nothing came of that. I am yet to talk to the present Mayor.”