KARAIKAL: Taking the Swachh Bharat initiative further, Karaikal district administration on Wednesday threw open to public use toilets located inside fuel stations and hotels. Muncipal commissioner D Sudhakar said a circular to this effect was issued by the Union government recently.
“The announcement has been made to make Karaikal a clean town and draw more tourists that will fetch additional revenue. Hereafter, owners of fuel stations and hotels cannot refuse common public access to toilets on their premises. If anyone refuses to comply, the municipality can even cancel the licence of the establishments,” Sudhakar told Express.
There are 15 petrol stations in Karaikal and work is on to enumerate hotels. “ We will inspect the toilets from October 2 and upload their locations on Google Map services,” Sudhakar added. Reacting to the development, S Ravichandran, a worker at a fuel bunk, said, “There was no necessity to issue a formal order as most petrol stations allow commoners use the facility.”
Hoteliers however, had a different take. “The washroom is at the extreme end of our building. Customers would be put off if they see a lot of strangers walking in and out. The municipality should take into account such things and reconsider the decision,” said a hotel owner on the busy PK Road. DMK district secretary A M H Nazeem said it should be left to the commercial extablishments to decide who all they want to allow into their premises.
Petrol stations and hotels, including eateries with just two chairs and tables, must display a board saying toilet on its premises are open for common public. Uzhavankarai Municipality in Puducherry is the first in the Union Territory that implemented such on order in 2016.