The facility was among the worst maintained in Ooty
“Nobody asked them to do it and they didn’t have to do it but they did it.”
Describing it in such a manner an initiative of the Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK) to disinfect a couple of public toilets inside the municipal market here on Saturday, observers said that it was a commendable effort.
The public toilets were among the worst maintained in this holiday destination. Though they catered to the needs of a sizeable section of the trading community within the market and outside and a large number of people who depended on the market for their daily requirement of vegetables and other provisions, they have for long been in an appalling condition. Their condition and the stench emanating from them have for several years been a serious source of concern on the health front.
Lamentably despite many representations nothing tangible had been done by the successive municipal councils or the officials to set right matters.
While the contention of the officials was that no one was coming forward to maintain them on a commercial basis, the regret of the public was that as far as the toilets were concerned the outlook of the traders in the market was callous. Members of the TMMK, particularly in the Main Bazaar area, decided to do something about it.
After informing the municipality they mobilised volunteers to spruce up the toilets with the help of municipal staff.
A worker regretted that among those who were complaining about its condition were many who were responsible for it to be in such a state. “The toilets were flooded with empty liquor bottles,” he said.
The President of the TMMK, Ooty, K. Abdul Samad, hoped that the effort would send a strong message to those who are in the habit of misusing public toilets.
General Secretary, TMMK, T. Kamaludeen, pointed out that due to the peculiar weather conditions here it should be ensured that public toilets are user-friendly.
Municipal Commissioner K. Sivakumar promised that the municipality would rise to the occasion.
He added that a suggestion to provide separate toilets for men and women inside the market would be considered favourably.
Recalling that until a few decades ago the municipal market here was flaunted as one of the best maintained with a high standard of sanitation, a senior citizen hoped that the district and civic administrations would join hands to iron out shortcomings.