To increase patronage of public restrooms, the Chennai Corporation is on a mission to repair and renovate all damaged toilets in the city.

The civic body recently conducted a survey of all 905 toilets across the 15 zones in the city, and found that only 551 were in good shape. Of the rest, 294 were partially damaged and 60 were completely dilapidated. Of the 905, 31 are pay-and-use toilets, while 874 are free.

The focus on improving existing restrooms came about as the proposal to install 2,000 newly-designed toilets under a public-private partnership (PPP) failed to take off, officials said.

All the existing toilets will be completely restored by August 15, using Corporation funds. With this, the civic body aims at getting more residents to use the existing facilities, until it can put in place additional ones, a Corporation official said.

“Work is underway to restore all the 294 damaged public toilets in the city. Estimates for 242 of these have already been prepared, and work has already begun in several structures. The dilapidated toilets will be demolished and reconstructed in three months,” he said.

He added, “After the restoration, illegal collection of charges at toilets will be stopped.”

Some of the zones with a large number of damaged toilets include Tiruvottiyur, which has 42 damaged ones, Tondiarpet with 21, Royapuram with 27, Thiru.Vi.Ka. Nagar with 47 and Anna Nagar with 32.

According to an official, for the earlier PPP proposal, sites for new toilets had already been identified based on inputs from residents in various localities.

The toilets were to be made using high-density polyethylene or polycarbonate sheets or equivalent material. The proposal failed, as the civic body and private entities could not come to an agreement over how much advertising space the private entities would be able to use at the facilities.

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