Toilet Troubles

Making the neighbourhood Swachh

One of the most essential facilities for ensuring a clean neighbourhood is the availability of clean and well maintained toilets for the public.
A report in a local daily brought out the sorry state of affairs with respect to public toilets which included lack of water, over charging, or inadequate hygiene and other problems. Consequently, a meeting to take stock of the situation was called for by the Dy. Collector in co-ordination with Goa Consumer and Civic Action Network – the NGO that works towards ensuring Consumer Rights. The meeting was attended by various agencies involved in the maintenance and running of public toilets that included the MMC, Health Dept, KTC, Sulabh International and the Consumer Affairs Dept.
At the outset the report on the number of public toilets was sought. A list of 37 public toilets in various locations was presented. Discussions revealed that a very high percentage of these facilities were not in a usable condition. The Dy. Collector has directed the various agencies involved to ascertain the actual ground situation and report the same. It was also brought out that there were no boards or signs informing the public of the location of these facilities.
GOACAN brought out that a large amount of funds are available under the Swachh Bharat (Urban) and Swachh Bharat (Gramin) schemes for providing these facilities.
It was also brought out that the Health Officer should promulgate guidelines for the maintenance, sanitation and hygiene standards to be maintained by these public facilities.
19th Nov is ‘World Toilet Day’. A manifesto of points for ensuring adequate public toilet facility needs to be created. There are large grants for Information, Education and Communication which should be judiciously and effectively utilised by the various departments. Citizens are urged to take up this issue in the Gram Sabha meetings to ensure public toilet facilities in their neighbourhoods are provided for and maintained hygienically.
Further meetings will now be held to collate data on the state and serviceability of these facilities and thereafter action needed to ensure their maintenance and hygiene.