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Public toilet project yet to take off

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Defunct: A view of a closed public convenience at Konnur High Road at Ayanavaram in Chennai. —
Defunct: A view of a closed public convenience at Konnur High Road at Ayanavaram in Chennai. —

Kannal Achuthan

Chennai Corporation had to go for tender again owing to lack of response

Chennai: The Chennai Corporation’s plan to construct new public toilets and allow advertisements on their outer walls is yet to take off.

The civic body had chalked out rules stating that fines would be imposed on people who urinate or defecate in public beginning April 1 but had deferred the decision by two months to meet the demand for more public toilets. The rules are in force since June 1 but the toilets are yet to be built.

The Corporation had floated tenders for the construction of toilets and urinals in the Ayanavaram and Adyar zones but the project had to be re-tendered owing to lack of response.

Revenue generation

Officials are counting on the offer of advertisement space on the outer walls of the toilets to encourage responses from contractors. As strict regulations are being enforced on the hoardings industry since the Supreme Court ruling on April 9, the advertising space offered may be attractive to project developers and outdoor media agencies.

The model of providing advertisement space to develop public amenities has been successful in some parts of New Delhi. Revenue drawn from the advertisements is used to fund the construction of toilets and maintain them. The Chennai Corporation has also decided to use the same strategy to modernise bus shelters.

Fatheraj Jain of Park Town Exnora, a civic welfare organisation, said that more public toilets were needed, especially in crowded places such as Sowcarpet and T. Nagar.

Salesmen, labourers, shoppers, delivery boys and bus commuters depend on public conveniences.

Locations identified

The locations of the public toilets and urinals proposed in Ayanavaran zone include Siva Elango Salai, Madhavaram High Road, Poompuhar Nagar, MTH Road, SIDCO Nagar, Thideer Nagar and Annai Sathya Nagar. In Adyar zone, the locations include Natesan Street, Marina Beach service road, Kamarajar Salai, Besant Nagar near Elliot’s beach and Vijaya Nagar bus stand.

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