The provision of sanitation facilities through sanitary toilet complexes at public places like marketplaces, bus and tax stands and railway stations where a large congregation of people takes place is a suitable option to prevent open defecation and ensure clean and hygiene surrounding. However, it seems, the apathy of Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BeMC) has resulted in the wastage of taxpayers’ money.
As per reports, several public toilets set up across the Silk City under the jurisdiction of BeMC have been completely damaged and are not usable at present. Without proper management and maintenance by the civic body, even the interiors of the toilets are in a dilapidated state.
Moreover, empty liquor and plastic bottles are found dumped in the toilet pans while the water tank on the terrace of the toilet complexes as well as the water pipes are missing from the structure.
Though one person has been appointed for the upkeep and the mobile number of the in-charge has been provided for filing complaints, none took the responsibility of ensuring proper maintenance.
An angry local alleged, "A public toilet has been set up in the area. However, there is no water supply and no door in the structure. Even there is no proper maintenance of the toilet."
Further, the local alleged that it was a clear case of embezzlement of public money in which the civic body, BeMC Commissioner and local political leaders were involved.
"With an eye on the upcoming corporation elections, new toilets are being set up," he added.
This is not just the scene in BeMC area. A toilet complex Bijipur area has reportedly gone missing.
The civic body had spent an estimated Rs 70 lakh in 2017 to construct sanitary toilet complexes. However, in just four years, the structures have been completely damaged.
Currently, the new public toilet complexes are being erected with funds allotted under Swachh Bharat Mission.
Instead of repairing the damaged toilet complexes and ensuring their proper maintenance, questions have been raised on the purpose of erecting the new ones.
However, BeMC commissioner Siddeshwar Baliram Bondar assured to renovate the damaged structures. Along with that, he said, steps are being taken to ensure proper maintenance of new as well as old toilet complexes.
"Due to lack of water supply and damages to the structure, some toilet complexes have become defunct completely. We are inspecting all the toilets and the ones that can be renovated will be repaired while the new toilets will be set up at new places," said Bondar.