VELLORE: The delay in implementing the public and Namma Toilet projects has forced the residents of zone 1 of Vellore Corporation-Tharapadavedu to defecate in the open for years now.
The tender for building new public toilets, which was proposed by the Corporation, was cancelled due to the plan of setting up Namma Toilets by the government.
The residents of ward-7 said they have no option but to defecate in the open.
“There is one public toilet in our area which was built long ago and now it is in a pathetic condition. For the last two years, we have been demanding new public toilets. But the corporation officials have failed to build them,” said a resident of Kullakarai in Tharapadavedu.
Zone-I president and ward 7 Councillor M Sunil Kumar said that the public toilet tender was proposed in Kullakarai in March 2013 at a cost of `5.50 lakh. But, when the government planned to built Namma Toilets in zone-I, the public toilet tender was cancelled.
“In zone-1, 13 locations have been identified to instal Namma Toilets at a cost of `2.40 crore. However, as of now, only one such toilet was installed in Viruthamput.
I have been trying to contact the person who has taken up the tender but only in vain.” “The corporation officials delayed the previous public toilet project and now the civic body officials have asked us to wait for the Namma Toilet project to take off. Women are facing many problems without toilets. Many people have built toilets in their home but what about others who can’t afford it,” asked a woman belonging to Tharapadavedu.
Keelmottur and Nadumottur in ward-II are also facing the same problem. The public toilet at Keelmottur was built three years ago and it is yet to be open to the public.
“People have been practising open defecation for ages. So, they didn’t care about the newly built toilets,” said D Sundara Ganeshan.
“The corporation officials never listen to our pleas. We don’t have any option except to defecate in the open,” said a woman resident in Keelmottur. However, when contacted, zonal officer Shanmugham was unavailable for comments.
The World Bank report on open defection, which was released on November 2013, said that over 600 million people in India or 53 per cent of Indian households were defecating in the open, due to lack of toilets.
The report on open defection was released on the eve of World Toilet Day.