VIJAYAWADA: At a time when numerous measures were taken to secure the ODF++ status for the city, the situation at the ground level tells a different story as open urination is still a common scene across Vijayawada. Residents feet that the civic body has not done a good job in maintaining public toilets at places where open urination is rampant and that continuous water supply could ensure hygiene and cleanliness at such places.
“The civic body achieving the ODF status may look good only on paper, but the city has a long way to go when it comes to controlling open urination on busy stretches. Lack of manpower and citizens simply refusing to adhere to basic norms of hygiene are the main problems haunting the VMC,” said Taxpayers Association general secretary MV Anjaneyulu. He suggested that the official improve the maintenance of free public toilets, besides establishing mobile toilets for women.
As per the information provided by the public health department officials, the corporation, in all, is maintaining around 150 public toilets across 59 divisions of the city. To rid the city of the problem, the VMC, in December, appointed members of DWCRA groups to work as ‘swachhagrahis’ in shifts and prevent people from urinating and littering in the open. The ‘swachhagrahis’ were asked to draw rangolis in such spots.
“Despite the VMC maintaining public toilets across the city, open urination is a issue that every resident complains about. Taking a serious note of this, the civic body has appointed special teams who move across the city in a bus, to penalise the violators,” VMC chief medical officer for health D Venkata Ramana told TNIE.
Since January, the special teams have imposed fines on around 500 persons for urinating in the open and collected `2 lakh from them, he said, and added tenders have been invited for constructing 50 more public toilets.