Misery of public toilets

Sano Meru

When you enter the local ground, what greets you? All of us must be aware of the foul smell of urine in every nook and corner of the ground. If one visits the toilets one would realize as to why the public avoid the toilets there and use every available corner as an alternative. 

The entrance of the toilet is like a garbage dump, one can just imagine what the conditions inside are. Even to walk through the entrance to reach the toilets are disgusting. There is no doubt about it that only the most desperate make use of it. Maintenance is nil. It can be expected any way, without water in the toilets.

The Local ground in Kohima does not need any introduction. Almost all important State activities take place there – from sports events to public gatherings. Therefore the poor maintenance is a matter of great inconvenience to the public.

Since it is said that the toilets were constructed under the Public Health Engineering Sanitation programme in 1997, it’s a matter of shame to see the complete absence of maintenance as it appears. One wonders whether the toilets after being constructed are long forgotten. If janitors are insufficient, indifferent or if there are no proper cleaning equipments and sufficient water, the large investments made into the construction of public toilets are rendered unusable.  

The Local ground being the central venue for most official functions the maintenance of the toilets in the ground should be given utmost priority. Inability to maintain and sustain public structures continues to be the most difficult challenge before the authorities. As an observer it is sad to realize that the Government may start something with seemingly good intention but fail in implementing them.

Speaking to the public concerning this, one suggested that government could at least entrust someone to take care of the Public toilets and provide paid staff if necessary, as in other cities. Another commented, “What do you expect without water?” There were several other views which echoed the need for the government to construct more public toilets and provide proper maintenance. Another lamented that the conditions of the toilets in the Civil Secretariat were no better.

On the basis of the present state of public toilets, they present a grim reflection of the society’s attitude towards public hygiene and utter disregard for public property.