Locked public toilet causes inconvenience to residents of Arunthathiyar Nagar

There is no proper upkeep of the complex, which remains shut for nearly 5 months

Meenakshi*, a senior citizen residing on Chengan Street, Arunthathiyar Nagar in Mettupalayam, has to walk three streets to access the nearest public toilet. In the last three to five months, the public toilet on Chengan Street remains locked for want of maintenance, causing difficulty to many residents.

According to residents, Arunthathiyar Nagar in Mettupalayam near Thiru Vi Ka Nagar is home to nearly 5,000 families. The locality has 16 streets. About 500 families of Chengan Street, Kandan Street and Govindapuram have been utilising the public toilet complex on Chengan Street. With the toilet complex in neglect, many residents, especially women and the elderly, have to rely on the nearest facility on Govindan Street.

“There are 12 toilets in the complex — six for men and six for women. There have been constant problems in the last five years, with the motor turning faulty frequently and water pipelines getting damaged. There has been no proper maintenance or cleaning. Now, it remains closed for nearly five months, causing plenty of hardship to residents,” said C.B. Paranthaman, a resident.

Meenakshi, who has been residing here for nearly four decades, pointed to the hardship faced by the elderly like her, who have to walk across three streets to use the public toilets at Govindan Street. “Authorities need to fix the motor and take up minor repairs. The delay in taking up the work and poor maintenance have left us in the lurch. With the toilets locked, girls and women find it tough to manage,” she said.

She pointed out two new toilets built in the facility on Chengan Street were not opened even after they were completed nearly two years ago.

A cross-section of the residents said the non-functional facility had turned into an eyesore.

“It is filled with garbage and liquor bottles. It has become a haven for anti-social activities. Several men consumd liquor on top of the facility and jump inside,” another resident said.

Residents said repeated pleas to the MLA and officials of the Greater Chennai Corporation to repair and re-open the complex did not yield any result.

An official of the Greater Chennai Corporation said there was a snag in the motor, and it was being set right. “The facility will become functional in two to three days,” he said.

(*Name changed on request)

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