Local administration might have claimed recently that by October 31, all households in the district, including those in the rural pockets will have toilets, and work in this direction has already begun, but residents have raised questions over the nuisance of urinating in open.
This is a common practice outside the city’s bus stand and railway station. Residents said despite the latter being major arrival points to the city, authorities concerned hardly seem to bother about curbing this embarrassing practice.
As people step out of the bus stand and railway station, they generally spot men urinating on the walls around. This not only makes the surroundings unhygienic, but this whimsical habit also causes an awkward situation for women passing by.
A blow to ‘Swacch Bharat Abhiyan’
Locals and visitors at the bus stand and railway station said this practice is a live example of making a mockery of the Prime Minister’s ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’, which is due to complete its two years on October 2.
“If authorities concerned genuinely want to address this issue, they can surely curb it. Imposing heavy fines right on the spot is one of the most practical solutions to discourage those who urinate in the open. After all, there are usually washrooms at bus stands and railway station,”said Preet Amol Singh, a regular traveller to the city who travels either by bus or train.
Some also said the authorities should know that unsanitary condition stinks from a considerable distance and situation turns worse during rainy days.
“It can’t be ignored that this weird practice also makes bad impression of Ludhiana among visitors, a city tagged as ‘Smart City’ and ‘Manchester of India’. So, curbing it is the need of the hour for which authorities must wake up,”said Jagtar Singh Dhiman, a city-based university professor.
“This practice may be awkward for all, but is certainly more embarrassing for women passerbys. “Don’t these men have any shame? Why can’t they use toilets inside the bus stand or railway station?,”said Baljeet Kaur, a local. While another passenger at bus stand Paramjit Kaur said, “I often come to the city to buy my monthly medicines and every time getting out of the bus stand becomes a trouble, as men can be seen urinating in the open.”
As HT spoke to Surbhi Malik, additional commissioner of municipal corporation (MC), she said local authorities have always made sincere efforts to discourage this practice and all other issues that go against the spirit of ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan’. But, to make these efforts a success, public support is equally important.
“We keep organising campaigns in the city to make people aware about the importance of cleanliness through street plays, graffiti paintings, radio messages. But we also want that those who urinate in open despite the provision of toilets should question their own conscience, whether it is right or wrong to do so. In other words, mindset change is also the need of the hour, which can be helpful in making Ludhiana clean from every aspect,”said Malik.
She said in case someone feels there is a paucity of toilets at different public places, the city will soon have additional public toilets, for which tenders have recently been floated by the MC.