THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Come dusk, the exhibitionists in the city these days make a beeline to the small bylane at Vazhuthacaud, thanks to the Public Works Department (PWD). The sudden rush to this bylane that goes by the side of the Women’s College and the University Women’s Hostel is because of the facility provided by the PWD that piled up granite and metal on the road.
These piles of stones, supposedly meant for road repair, are stacked to almost three-fourth the height of the compound wall of the University Women’s Hostel. This allows the demented men to exhibit from greater heights.
"They start coming in by around 7 pm. Most come singly, but groups of youngsters have also been noticed,’’ said Aswathy Gopinath, a post-graduate student who is also the hostel secretary.
A few days ago, the hostel security guards caught one youngster in the act. "Once such a person is caught, there will be peace for a few days. After a week or so, it is the same story all over again,’’ said Aswathy.
The hostel authorities had written many a time to the Corporation to install a camera here, to deter the exhibitionists, but to no avail. Their requests for patrolling by policewomen have also fallen on deaf ears.
Smaller piles of granite are stacked near the wall just opposite the study room of the hostel and the inmates say that it is impossible to use the study hall after dusk. Most of the windows facing this road are kept constantly shut.
Those who are not adept at climbing the stone piles climb on to their bikes. Some of these ‘showmen’, as they are known, even climb on to the compound wall, without a bother for the iron fencing. Fortunately for them, the University has not given a thought to the repair of the fences, which are broken, say the hostel inmates.
Though right in the heart of the city, this University Women’s Hostel has myriad problems, right from shortage of water to burning of wastes, including plastic, just outside the hostel compound. "Sometimes, the stench is so nauseating that you smell it right from the bend on the road,’’ said Omana Nair, who goes to the hostel frequently to help out the blind inmates with their studies.
The residents of the area and the residents’ associations had also taken up the issue many times, in vain. The obnoxious smell has been causing several respiratory problems not just to the inmates, but residents of the area as well.