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Sanitary park breathes unhealthy air

M.Balaganessin
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The objective of creating awareness of individual toilets lost in this present open defecation ground

free for all:The sanitary park on the campus of the public office in Pudukottai, which has been an eyesore due to open defecation.— photo:R.M.Rajarathinam
free for all:The sanitary park on the campus of the public office in Pudukottai, which has been an eyesore due to open defecation.— photo:R.M.Rajarathinam

The sanitary park, not far away from the old bus stand, has been in an unhygienic condition in the heart of the town.

Located on the public office campus, the park was set up by the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) in 2004 to create awareness among the masses of personal hygiene through use of individual toilets.

Hoardings explaining seven models of toilets, along with the material to be used, are on display.

They are intended to cater to the needs of families commensurate with their economic affordability.

For example, certain models are suited to houses with high ground water table such as those in the coastal belts of Meemisal, Jegadapattinam and Kottaipattinam.

The park explains the use of eco-san toilet, low-cost unit using thatches, hollow-block type and other designs. It was then set up under the ‘Total sanitation campaign' programme at an expenditure of Rs.1.50 lakh.

Selection of the venue for setting up the park was influenced by the fact that the office, by virtue of its strategic location and sprawling space, accommodated courts, government departments, the government printing press, the District Treasury, the Sub-Treasury, Fire Service, the Taluk Office and the Revenue Divisional Officer's office.

Initially, the park, with its swing, bars and other play material, attracted children. But soon everything changed, say official sources.

Absence of a watchman, inadequate lighting facilities and, above all, the auto and taxi stands in the vicinity has turned the park into a pubic toilet.

Nature lovers and environmentalists feel that immediate action should be taken to restore the park to provide adequate entertainment to children.

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