‘Swachh Toilet?’ in ‘Swachh Mluru’ located near to New ‘Swachh Sarvajna Circle’ in Bondel?

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‘Swachh Toilet?’ in ‘Swachh Mangaluru’ located near to New ‘Swachh Sarvajna Circle’ in Bondel? If the Mangaluru Urban Development Authority (Muda) joining hands with Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) could spend Rs 45 lakhs on a freaking Circle dedicated to Poet Sarvajna, which was inaugurated in March 2023, they could not spend a few thousands of rupees in maintaining a PUBLIC TOILET, which is much more needed by the people than a Circle-rather than allowing it to remain filthy, dilapidated, pathetic, Unusable, etc…and this is what we call SMART CITY?

Mangaluru: Definitely as the saying goes, ”When you got to go, You got to go!”- It means you have to go to the toilet badly when you can’t control your bladder. However, the Public Toilet located near the newly built ‘Sarvajna Circle’ in Bondel, is not the right place to go to relieve yourself, based on my experience. The reason is that it is filthy, stinky, dilapidated, Unusable, etc. I thought to myself that a City which boasts about being one of the Smart Cities of India is not able to maintain and keep a public toilet clean. First I tried to enter the Men’s toilet, but it was terrible and unusable, so I decided to check the women’s toilet since no women were around- and that was much worse. Therefore my only option was to step behind the building and relieve myself, simultaneously getting sucked by a swarm of mosquitoes, which have been breeding in all the mess gathered there. What an experience!

No doubt this Unhygienic and Unusable MCC Public toilet needs some quick attention to restore it to normal else could experience that I faced. Being a busy stretch of road, with commuters heading towards the Mangaluru International Airport, with many vehicles passing by, this toilet needs some attention in cleaning so that travellers, including drivers and riders, can make use of it rather than allow it to sit idle and stink. With the City spending lakhs on e-toilets which are going extinct due to lack of maintenance and carelessness, the MCC toilets also don’t help in serving the purpose. Not a good example of Swachh Mangaluru! Just like my ride on this stretch in trying to use a public toilet proved to be an unpleasant one, I bet many might have also felt the same situation.

The FILTHY & STINKY MCC PUBLIC TOILET is located a few metres away from this New SARVAJNA CIRCLE in Bondel

The concerned authorities of Muda/MCC went ahead in developing a circle in Bondel dedicated to poet Sarvajna, at an approximate cost of Rs 45 lakh and was inaugurated by MLA Dr Bharath Shetty, at the beginning of the year 2023. Only if the MLA after the Circle inauguration and a few other politicians/VIPs had made use of this toilet filled with stench, dirt, etc, could he have felt the brunt of this pathetic toilet, and would have never entered the men’s toilet again. Yes, the Circle was a perfect tribute to the poet where Kannada literature is inconceivable without poet Sarvajna and his poetry is so popular that his poems are recited on numerous occasions.

The circle has a 5.5-foot statue of Poet Sarvajna in a standing posture on a pedestal. Some of his famous pithy three-line poems known as ‘tripadis’, will also find a place on the circle. This is an attempt to spread awareness among children about the great poet. The circle is being developed on similar lines to the Brahmashree Narayana Guru circle, which was inaugurated in the city in 2022. However, when you look at the Circle, and the toilet nearby, you will find lots of differences, no valuable messages, Tripads etc, instead, you will see empty liquor sachets, empty liquor bottles, cigarette butts, chewing tobacco spit, and entire area is nasty and stinky. Doors are broken, lights not working, wild grass grown around, piles of garbage accumulated, etc etc – and this a Perfect SWACHH TOILET in the so-called Swachh Mangaluru?

However, most of the public washrooms in the City are either shut or locked from inside. But the sight of this toilet was unbearable. I am not alone in facing this predicament. At a time when the city has secured as one of the Best Smart City in the Swachh Bharat Survey, the progress in terms of sanitisation of public toilets for men and women is not even halfway through in that direction. A reality check, if you look around the City several public toilets are in dilapidated or unhygienic condition. The stench from many of these public toilets is so nauseating that one could throw up. Moreover, the door knobs of some of these toilets are defunct or locked. The Public complained about choked seats, broken flush systems, algae on the floor and stinking around the cubicle. There is no proper sink/basin to even wash hands.

Those in authority never being oblivious to their role of rolling out platitudes over the need for hygiene and sanitation. The number of public toilets in the city is few and even those which exist are not being maintained as well as they ought to be. Condition of those located in the bustling market areas or near bus shelters used by the traders and the shoppers, most of them are simply horrible. It is beyond our comprehension why they remain filthy despite us paying for its use. Ms Brenda, who likes to shop at the nearby Hopcoms shop for vegetables/fruits was found shopping at the busy Market Road area echoed her complaint saying. “The marketplaces in the city are generally bereft of public toilets. We are greatly inconvenienced because of this. We go to the nearby restaurants to use their washrooms to relieve ourselves. There should be at least two public toilets in the market areas. We wonder why the civic body and others are not bothered about the problem we have been facing,” she said.

A college student recounted the same problem. “The dearth of public toilets in the main areas of the City is a grim problem. The toilets which exist are seldom cleaned. Swachh Bharat or Clean India Campaign does not merely mean establishing toilets in places where they do not exist. It also means cleaning those which exist regularly. However, I doubt whether things would look up, given the nonchalant character of those who are supposed to look after these things,” she added.

Hope our new MCC Commissioner, MCC Mayor, Health Officials in MCC, MUDA officials, MLA Dr Bharath Shetty and also the authorities in the district administration will follow and take action after reading this report in restoring the dirty public toilets, including the one featured in this report here, to its originality, like they were when the officials had inaugurated by cutting the ribbon in 2014?

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