Despite being adjudged the best city under the National Rating and Award Scheme for Sanitation for Indian Cities by the union ministry of urban development in 2010 and named the cleanest city in the country by India Today last week, public toilets in the City Beautiful are in a pitiable condition with the unbearable stench leaving many visitors sick.
Nearly eight months ago, the civic body handed over the maintenance of 86 public toilets in the city to market welfare associations in a desperate bid to improve conditions. This was done after the contract of the agency, responsible for maintaining the toilets, was not renewed. However, things have only gone downhill since then.
A visit to public toilets located in various markets and on the main roads of the city revealed that more than 90% of them had leaky or dry faucets, poor or no water supply and overflowing pots, making the experience of using them a truly dreadful one.
There more than 200 public toilets in different shopping complexes in the city and most of them remain unmanned while some of them are locked. Those remaining open are occupied by rickshaw pullers or labourers, making it difficult for visitors to step inside.
Meanwhile, the civic body has not cared for the 18 toilet blocks even more than a year after they were built on green belts in various parts of the city, as a result of which they remain locked.