A month since it began, the Swachh Bharat campaign seems to have been dumped in the dirty toilets, littered backyards and the filthy surroundings of the city's dispensaries.Filth piled up around an open sewer and (right) an unsanitary washroom at the dispensary in Sector 38, Chandigarh.
That public toilets even at dispensaries are not clean is an indication of the extent of neglect by the officials.
The toilets here are just as bad as the ones at the city’s three main government hospitals — Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, and Government Multi Specialty Hospital, Sector 16.
The toilets, especially those meant for use by the public, stink. There is urine on the floor, taps don’t work and drainpipes of pots are missing.
Though recent efforts to clean the surroundings have made a difference, the dispensaries still require plenty of care.
There are around 27 dispensaries in Chandigarh and the UT villages. Around 20 of these were transferred from the health department to the municipal corporation, about four years ago.
The front yard at the upscale Sector-38 dispensary has been improved, but the backyard is still a mess. The Dadumajra dispensary is relatively cleaner, but the toilets are no better. The dispensaries in the posh areas such as Sector 8 fare better.
Pritam Singh, a sanitation attendant posted at the dispensary, and secretary of UT's Safai Karamchari Union said sanitation had improved significantly since the Swachh Bharat campaign began.
“Now, senior officials also are concerned about cleanliness,” said Singh.
However, he passed the buck to the maintenance department when asked about the toilets. “How can a sweeper fix broken pipelines or stolen taps?My duty is to clean the toilets. If pipes are missing, things will get messy. But I can't fix them.”
Satish Kainth, chairman, MC’s committee on primary health, conceded that the dispensaries went from bad to worse after being transferred to the civic body. “The dispensaries handed over to us in September 2010 are in a bad shape. We will soon carry out a survey and hold a meeting to develop infrastructure and ensure cleanliness.”