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Jalandhar

Posted at: Apr 17, 2018, 1:55 AM; last updated: Apr 17, 2018, 1:55 AM (IST)

Jolt to Swachh Bharat mission in Jalandhar

Municipal Corporation unable to find space for toilets in markets
Jolt to Swachh Bharat mission in Jalandhar
The bad condition of toilets situated near the Gandhi Nagar disposal dump in Jalandhar. Photo: Sarabjit Singh

Rachna Khaira

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 16

Giving a major jolt to the Swachh Bharat mission in the city, the Municipal Corporation of Jalandhar (MCJ) is unable to find any vacant space to construct public toilets in market areas.

According to assistant health officer of the MCJ, Dr Srikrishan, the problem is severe in markets situated in the central town and basti areas.

“There are not many vacant spaces available in these areas and even those which are available, cannot be utilised as people nearby have refused to get toilets constructed near their homes,” said Dr Srikrishan.

Around 2,500 to 3,000 people are visiting Rainak Bazaar and Peer Botlaan Bazaar every day. However, there is not even a single toilet available inside the congested lanes even for women.

“We have tried our best to convince people to allow us to construct toilets in these markets but they refused to do so near their homes. To obtain an open defecation free (ODF) status for the city, a public toilet should be constructed at every km, but in this scenario, it seemed to be a distant reality,” said Dr Sri Krishan.

Also, the situation seemed gloomy at petrol pumps. Not many are cooperating with the MCJ for catering to the common man. People too are reluctant to use these toilets due to their poor upkeep.

The situation though is little better in the individual household latrines (IHL) category. Out of the 907, around 849 toilets were constructed so far. While the construction of over seven community toilets has begun, 27 public toilets too were constructed in the city. Another 40 public toilets too were under construction.

MC to demolish toilets sans upkeep

  • While the Municipal Corporation of Jalandhar is making efforts to attain the open defecation free (ODF) status for the city, it is planning to demolish a community toilet building in the Baldev Nagar area.
  • Area councillor Rajwinder Singh alleged that though these toilets were constructed long ago, these could not be used even once due to the coming up of an unauthorised dump ahead of its entrance.
  • “The toilets, around 15 in number, got damaged and need repair. However, instead of maintaining these, they have planned to demolish the structures,” said Singh, alleging that despite an assurance given by the area residents, the MCJ officials were adamant to demolish these and construct new ones in their place.
  • Dr Srikrishan, assistant health officer, said that the civic body was indeed planning to renovate toilets. “The toilets are too old and completely damaged. If it is feasible to renovate these, we can do the work under the Swachh Bharat Mission,” said Dr Krishan.

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