Some residents of Mangalore are complaining about workers from construction sites using the roads in front of their houses as toilets and bathrooms.

With buildings, including apartment complexes and malls, being constructed at various locations in the city, it has become difficult for the residents to walk out of their houses, besides becoming a hygiene issue.

Vidya B., a resident of Yeyyadi, said she and her family members were inconvenienced by workers constructing an apartment block the adjoining plot of land, close to the main road.

The workers use the inside roads as toilets and relieve themselves in front of her house.

Despite being told gently as well as reprimanded, the problem continues. She said, “Why can’t the builders provide facilities for their workers?”

‘Nobody cares’

Staff in the government district hospital said the construction industry does not care at all about workers, leaving them to the public hospitals to deal with. H. R. Rajeshwari, District Surgeon and Medical Superintendent, Government Wenlock Hospital, said the hospital gets at least 30 to 40 patients a month from the construction industry. A majority of them have injuries from falls and malaria is “rampant” among them. She said, “They (builders) do not care. They are so inhuman… forget toilets (for workers).” When there is a health problem, the workers, a majority of who cannot speak in the local languages, go to Wenlock Hospital. She said, “They don’t even know their builder’s name.”

She said she has seen workers taking bath in front of the houses at Bendorewell Circle in the evenings using water from the construction sites.

MCC can take action

Gokuldas Nayak, Deputy Commissioner, Administration, Mangalore City Corporation (MCC), said building contractors were bound by law to provide facilities to workers. While the penalty is “very small” and does not act as a deterrent, there is action that the Corporation can take against erring builders. The MCC authorities could issue notices, cancel the builders’ license and compel the builder to stop construction, he said.

In specific cases, residents could make a formal complaint, he added.

Pushparaj Jain, President, Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI), said residents should tell the builder about such problems. If that had no effect, they could speak to CREDAI. If nothing worked, they could tell the Mangalore City Corporation. “We do not want the public to be inconvenienced,” he added.

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