Urinals and pipes in most of the cubicles installed by Tiruchi City Corporation are broken or have been stolen

Most of the waterless urinals installed by Tiruchirapalli City Corporation last year are now in a dilapidated condition for want of proper maintenance and continuity in policy initiatives.

The urinals and pipes in most of the cubicles have been broken or stolen.

Some of them put up at Central Bus Stand are still being used by commuters making them as bad as open urinals. In fact, the very objective of the installation of the cubicles was to rid the city of open urinals.

Though the corporation has since constructed additional toilets at the bus stand, many commuters continue to use the urinals as they are located close to the bus bays. “The corporation should either maintain these urinals properly or remove them completely in the interest of public health,” said R.Ashok, a marketing executive who commutes from Karur to the city every day.

The initiative to install the cubicles was taken up by the previous Corporation Commissioner, K.Veera Raghava Rao, but was shelved by the civic body soon after his transfer.

Mr. Rao had planned to install low-cost and hygienic cubicles in places of public congregation across the city, including bus stands. He had also planned to rope in sponsors to maintain the cubicles under public-private partnership mode.

The initiative aimed at preventing conversion of public places into open urinals, a problem rampant in the city. Without putting up adequate number of public toilets, the corporation can not ask people to desist from using public places as open urinals, Mr. Rao had reasoned then.

Several such cubicles were put up at different places in the city, including Central Bus Stand, towards the end of his tenure.

Tenders were awarded for installing about 167 cubicles in different parts of Golden Rock and K.Abishekapuram zones at a cost of about Rs.15 lakh. But the corporation dropped the plan soon after his transfer.

The decision was justified by civic officials who pointed out that cubicles have to be cleaned and watered on a regular basis, which could be impractical given the shortage of sanitary workers.

The neglected cubicles inside the bus stand not only remain an eyesore but also a health hazard, say some of the vendors inside the bus stand.

They suggest that the corporation replace the cubicles with pre-fabricated ‘Namma toilet,’ one of which was unveiled near Amma Mandapam in the city recently.