Coimbatore: Without proper water supply, doors and buckets, public washrooms in the city are of hardly any use to the public. It’s high time the city corporation took steps to rectify the issues and ensure their proper maintenance.
A recent audit conducted by corporation officials revealed that 42 of the 371 washrooms and 1,009 of the 4,628 toilets in the city were not functional at all. They are either directly maintained by the civic body or through self-help groups.
The audit also found that 1,646 taps and 1,505 doors were not functional at the toilets and there was immediate need to replace pipelines and carry out plumbing work.
“Many toilets do not have doors and in some cases latches are not functional. We need to place 3,046 buckets, 2,748 lights, 264 washbasins and 482 dustbins at these toilets,” said a source with the city corporation.
There are 91 toilets in the east zone, 79 in west zone, 64 in north zone, 65 in south zone and 72 in central zone. As most of these toilets lack basic amenities, people are forced to urinate and defecate in the open.
P Saravanan, a commuter, said the toilets at Ukkadam bus terminal were in a pathetic condition. “The area stinks and as such people can’t even go near them. People could be spotted urinating in the open space nearby.”
A Shahjahan, a resident of Karumbukadai, said free toilets were the worst maintained ones. “Comparatively, those maintained by the self-help groups are in a better condition. There is nothing wrong in increasing the fee for providing cleaner toilets for users.”
An official with the corporation’s engineering wing said the audit was conducted to assess the real situation and identify the areas to be improved. “We have already sought help from various organizations, corporates and residents to develop them under the ‘Namakku Naame Thittam’ initiative. And many of them have come forward to do their bit for the cause. The overall situation will improve soon.”

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