Tenders awarded for 167 at Rs. 15 lakh of which 16 installed

The Tiruchi Corporation's plans of installing toilet cubicles across the city to improve public hygiene appear to have suffered a slowdown ever since the transfer of former Corporation Commissioner K.Veera Raghava Rao.

Mr.Rao, who was transferred about three months back, had unveiled plans to install low-cost and hygienic toilet cubicles in places of public congregation across the city, including the bus stands.

He had also planned to rope in sponsors to maintain the cubicles under public-private partnership mode.

The initiative was aimed at preventing conversion of public places into open urinals, a problem rampant in the city. The situation has been so bad and perennial that a foul smell pervades the air at the bus stands in the city.

Dearth of clean public toilets and the reluctance of people to use the available ones has been a major problem plaguing the bus stand for several years now.

Instead of going in for big structures involving high cost, cubicles of 2x2 metres in size could be installed, Mr.Rao had reasoned then, pointing out that without putting up public toilets the Corporation can not ask people to desist from using public places as open urinals.

While several additional toilets were built inside the bus stand then, Mr.Rao towards the end of his tenure here also started installing waterless urinals. About 15 such urinals were installed at the bus stand, but 10 more are yet to be fixed.

Tenders were also awarded for installing about 167 toilet cubicles in different parts of Golden Rock and K.Abishekapuram zones at a cost of about Rs.15 lakh.

Installed so far

Of this, only 16 have been installed so far. Even many of those which have been installed have not been brought to use. There is still no word about installing such cubicles in the other two zones of Srirangam and Ariyamangalam in the city.

While Mr.Rao had planned to install waterless toilets across the city to minimise maintenance, the new cubicles have to be cleaned on a daily basis, for which Corporation men and equipment have to be deployed. This, according to sources in the civic body, has now created a re-think among the corporation authorities now.

It is also now mandatory for the civic body to obtain the clearance of the government for any outsourcing initiative, they added.

As part of the initiatives, Mr.Rao also started experimenting with probiotic treatment to check the foul odour emanating from open urinals and toilets inside the bus stand.

Under the eco-friendly technology, ammonia eating micro-bacteria is used to control the odour.

The corporation even started imposing penalty of Rs.100 on persons found urinating in open places inside the bus stand. But all these initiatives now seem to have suffered a setback.