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HindustanTimes Wed,24 Sep 2014

Lack of public urinals sparks inconvenience in royal city

Mehakdeep Grewal, Hindustan Times  Patiala, October 11, 2013
First Published: 20:30 IST(11/10/2013) | Last Updated: 20:33 IST(11/10/2013)

In spite of Punjab government's tall claims of getting the royal city back on the map of tourism; the city continues to stench as most of the historic walls have been turned into open urinals of men.

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The concerned authorities have turned a blind eye in providing basic amenities such as public urinals.

While the civic body authorities blame it on lack of space, residents blame their lackadaisical attitude for non- availability of urinals.

A cursory look at the affairs portrays an unhygienic picture of the existing public urinals as they have not been maintained and cleaned for years. At present most of them have become hubs of filth.

The areas are in dire need of public urinals at commercial markets located in Lahori gate, Sherawala gate, Aadalat bazaar, Sirhindi Bazaar, Leela Bhawan, Bhupindra road, Tripari, Gurbaksh colony and other part of the city.

Local shopkeepers whined about the foul smell emanating from the surrounding areas.
Councillors from opposition, have alleged that proposals for construction of toilets were kept pending by the civic administration.

Anita Kumari, a saleswoman at AC market said women workers are facing problems due to lack of public urinals in the market as they have no place to go.

“While men manage to shamelessly take a leak in public, there are no urinals for women and the civic body is not taking the problem seriously,” Kumari said.

Local shopkeepers rued that despite repeated requests, the civic body has failed to address the issue.

Kamla Devi resident of Arya Samjh said, “Right in the heart of the city there are no public urinals for women. If the MC cannot construct them then they should give the right to private contractors to do the needful, for people are ready to shell out money rather than being deprived of basic amenity.”

According to public health norms, the civic authorities are supposed to ensure that one urinal should be available per 100 people, however for a population of over five lakh there are not even 100 urinals available in the city. 

While MC has failed to address the issue people continue to defecate in the open posing serious health hazards.

Speak Out:

MM Syal superintendent of engineer (SE) of municipal corporation:

The Punjab tourism department has allocated one crore budget for the construction of 10 public urinals in the city, we have constructed four and for the rest the mayor still has to decide the locations.

Zafar resident of Lehal Colony:

Even to get access of the basic facilities like public urinals we have to send numerous complains to the MC. Over the years civic body has failed to address the issue.

Surjit Singh shopkeeper at Rajbaha road:

Almost all corners of the market stink, as people have made them open urinals, it's difficult to live and work in such an environment. It's high time the MC wakes up.

Satkartar Singh shopkeeper at Dhramrpura market:

 The state of existing urinals is pathetic, they are never cleaned nor are they maintained. Most of them are located near garbage dumps which pose serious threat to hygiene and health.

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