Tamil Nadu

Namma toilets in poor shape

Unhygienic conditions prevail:Namma toilets are a far cry from the environment-friendly green initiative they were conceived to be in Pazhayapettai and Salem Road in Krishnagiri.- Photo: N.Bashkaran  

The stench of urine permeates the air, clumps of dried up human faeces litter the compound and unsightly images of men urinating from the outside mark the myriad images of Namma toilets here along the Salem road and Pazhayapettai within Krishnagiri Municipality.

The images make a travesty of the idea of Namma toilets that came up along grand claims and grander publicity


The concept emerged on a template of green-environment friendly initiative that would be gender and disabled friendly, eliminate open defecation, ensure adequate water supply that would be recycled and treated, and use solar panels for lighting.

The Namma toilets were set up here as recently as six months ago, one each at Pazhayapettai and Salem Road.

Named “Namma toilet”, only that users have not had a stake in the decision over its location.

Located in the midst of the crowded town, one at Pazhayapettai abutting an auto stand and the other in the market place, the two “Namma toilets” have weaned away women from using them.

At Pazhayapettai just outside the Pazhayapettai Muncipality Middle School, the Namma toilet set up centrally at a location that formerly hosted a bus stop under the DMK regime is a source of discomfort both for the students particularly girls and also women users.

“The bus stop was constructed at a cost of some Rs.2 lakh then. But without a thought to privacy it was converted to Namma toilet in such a location,” says a local.

Here outside the middle school, the open drainage abutting the school is afloat with human faeces thanks to the overfilled septic tank of Namma toilet.

The school’s noon-meal kitchen vent overlooks the toilet and the open drainage, posing a severe health hazard for the students.

Conceived to wean out open defecation and to enable a usable public toilet for women and the disabled, the Namma toilets have drastically failed on this count.

Except for pictorial images of the physically challenged, there not a single ramp in Pazhayapettai or Salem Road.

Whilst there is water in the morning at Pazhayapettai Namma toilet, the toilet at Salem road has not had a drop of water in a while, as the dried up faeces within its precincts show.


When contacted, the Municipal Engineer Murugan, who is the Municipal Commissioner in-charge said there was a snitch with the motors and that they were not aware of it.

“The water will be provided immediately,” he said.

Incidentally, the two Namma toilets have a sanitation inspector each to monitor sanitation. Today, except for single solar-powered bulbs, the state of Namma toilets is far from the green idea of environmental friendly toilets.

There is not a single ramp in Pazhayapettai or Salem Road for the physically-challenged to enable easy access to the Namma toilets in the municipality

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2020 3:29:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/namma-toilets-in-poor-shape/article7107513.ece

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