Ar. Jui Patil, JRarchitects
Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan has been the talk in the country since past few years. The Government is spending a huge amount for this especially in the rural parts of our country. But the question of good public toilet in the cities still remains.
With the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, we have all have seen new 4 feet by 4feet toilet blocks installed by the government around the city. The Thane Belapur has many such blocks. But most of the times, these blocks are not functional. Isn’t it very necessary for the Government to also allot the maintenance contract of these blocks?
Our city has many Shulabh Shauchalay at equal intervals. Not many people are comfortable using these public toilet due to its poor cleanliness, hygiene and maintenance. Most of these public toilets have odours around approximately 7-8 feet of radius around them. We need more of such, clean and properly maintained public toilets atleast at 4-5kms of distance from each other. Also, each of these toilets, shall also have maintenance staff taking care of the hygiene and cleanliness.
Talking about Mumbai, on the Eastern and Western express highways, there are no toilets at all. There are instances when people were stuck in traffic for 3-4 long hours. The stretch between Kanjurmarg-Vikroli-Ghatkopar has become like an open toilet. Men urinating on the sides of this highway is a common scene. Likewise, people are seen defecating even on the sides of the railway tracks. It is a horrible early morning sight for the commuters of the train. The railway stations also lacks well maintained, clean toilets. Long distance express trains have the most unclean, full of odour toilets. The whole train stinks. A major population of our country avoids trains and prefers to travel by flight because of this reason. Also there needs to be a proper disposal system of the solid waste instead of just letting it fall on the railway tracks. The express train railway tracks are full of faeces leading to a highly unhygienic situation.
Similarly, the cleaning of the manholes on the roads is manually done even in today’s Tech world where everything else is mechanised. Lot of people end up loosing their lives in this. In this age of automation, technology just doesn’t seem to have reach the sanitation sector.
Last but not the least, the users, should learn to maintain civic sense and discipline while using the toilets. Even after repeatedly writing instructions to flush the toilet after use, many times the toilet remains unflushed thereby making it of no use to the next user. People should learn to value the government services. After making toilet facilities, people defecating on roads shall be heavily fined so that such discipline automatically becomes a habit.