Indore (Madhya Pradesh): After the pandemic, people in the city are reluctant to use public washrooms, as a lack of sanitisation and poor maintenance have made people lose faith in them. Tall claims of sanitisation in the city fall flat when it comes to public restrooms and toilets. The absence of sanitisation can cause medical issues for people who use them frequently—or even once. The group of people using public toilets frequently includes those who commute through a particular route daily.
Savita Kumari, a citizen, said, “It’s always a difficult situation when I have to use a public washroom. They’re either not clean or not in a condition to be used.” The problem is not restricted to improper maintenance of the toilets, but also unavailability of hand washes or sanitation facilities which are mandatory. Wash basins and soaps are not built in many of the toilets and, even if available, they happen to be dysfunctional.
Arvind Pataliya, a university student, said, “My major concern is that I might catch some disease, such as urinary tract infection, if I use public toilets as they’re not cleaned properly and my experience of using one hasn’t been good.”
Akhilesh Upadhyay, chief health officer, IMC, said, “Our department is concerned with proper sanitation of public toilets and the work of maintaining them is allotted to officials of each zone. We’ll take quick action on the complaints reported.”
Aadil Sheikh, yet another citizen, said, “When I travel on a city bus, I can actually see the urination pot of the public washroom located near the RTO office at Nayta Mundla. It’s not only embarrassing, but is also not safe and lacks privacy.”
Lack of sanitation leads to infections
As the sanitisation of these toilets is poor, it may affect people. Dr Sunil Singhal, urologist, said, ‘I regularly come across cases of people suffering from urinary infections, but it can’t be determined if it’s caused by public toilets or not. Poor sanitation is the main cause of these infections and, if hands aren’t washed properly after using toilets, hazardous diseases other than urinary infections may develop’
Pandit Joshi | FPJ
‘The washrooms aren’t only unhygienic, but the surroundings also smell bad. The odour of urine and unwashed washrooms surrounds the place. Because of this, I never use public toilets’
— Pandit Joshi, citizen
Uma Yadav | FPJ
‘I’ve used a public washroom once, and it’s been my worst experience. The taps weren’t working and there was no facility to wash hands. This made me swear that I wouldn’t ever use these toilets again’
— Uma Yadav, citizen
Ritu Agrawal | FPJ
‘I wait to reach home or prefer using toilets at a mall or restaurant, where I can get the facility of a clean and hygienic washroom. I’ve been infected after using public toilets as they lack maintenance and really stink’
— Ritu Agrawal, citizen