Project to infuse hygiene into Corporation schools in north Chennai

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to focus the shortcomings in disease prevention strategies in the city and the lack of amenities needed to check the contagion.

The most affected by the pandemic were the poor residents of several areas in north Chennai, where it is tough to keep physical distance and water is not readily available. Officials of the Greater Chennai Corporation found it difficult to check the pandemic, constrained as they were by the poor amenities. The lockdown helped the civic body ramp up infrastructure by opening mini-clinics, upgrading the testing facilities at primary health centres and strengthening the vector control with the purchase of modern fogging machines.

As schools are to open for students of Classes 10-12, Corporation officials are facing the daunting task of shielding the students from the pandemic, what with inadequate water supply and toilets. The grant provided by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which has funded the integrated storm drain network in the Kosasthalaiyar basin, could not have come at a better time for improving the facilities at Corporation schools in north Chennai, the officials say.

The civic body has readied a detailed project report to improve facilities to ensure the personal hygiene among Corporation school students.

Under the integrated pandemic and disaster risk management project, urban primary health centres and Corporation schools in the Kosasthalaiyar basin will be provided with hand-wash and drinking water dispensers and other facilities.

Corporation Commissioner G. Prakash says the ADB-funded project is aimed at the systematic maintenance of personal hygiene at Corporation schools in the extended areas of north Chennai, where students of the poor families are found to lack in personal hygiene. Installation of drinking water and hand-wash dispensers, implementation of a waste management system through napkin dispensers and construction of additional toilets for girls have been planned.

L. Nandakumar, Chief Engineer (General), Chennai Corporation, says the project will benefit 60 Corporation schools with nearly 12,000 students and 17 urban primary health centres registering more than 3,000 footfalls a day in the areas under the zones of Thiruvottiyur, Manali, Madhavaram and Ambattur. The project, costing ₹14.63 crore, has been accepted by the funding agency, and once the allotment order is issued, tenders will be called. The work will be completed within a year.

The COVID-19 prevention project involves the installation of drinking water and hand-wash machines at Corporation schools with a special focus on girls. With almost 49% of the total students enrolled at the 60 Corporation schools being girls, additional toilets and privacy rooms would be created and napkin dispensers installed to promote menstrual hygiene.

The project will also create toilets fitted with ramps for physically challenged students.

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Printable version | Mar 5, 2021 6:29:34 AM |

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