THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Providing basic amenities to the citizens is not in the priority list of politicians. Clean and women-friendly toilets remain a long-pending demand of voters. The manifestos of the political parties still highlight this as one of the key offerings.
The KSWDC, Corporation and Tourism Department have set up she-toilets and e-toilets in various parts of the city, but majority of them are located at unfriendly locations.
Apart from the toilet complexes run by Sulabh International, there are around 22 she-toilets and 14 e-toilets in the city.
However, the authorities have failed to provide the facility at crowded spots, including Thampanoor, East Fort and Palayam.
Director of Eram Scientific Solutions Pvt Ltd Anwar Sadath said that the location of the e-toilets and she-toilets were a major concern.
"There is local protest and hence many of the facilities are not visible or accessible. We couldn't install e-toilets or she-toilets at Thampanoor and East Fort -two of the prime spots where the demand is high," he said.
The Chennai Corporation has installed around 150 e-toilets and all of them are nearby bus stops and key spots.
Mr Sadath said that many of the facilities had to be relocated. A she-toilet unit costs around Rs 6 lakh while e-toilet unit around Rs 5.5 lakh.
The civic authorities have installed only four units and the plan to install more was dropped owing to delay in execution.
Complaints mount against Sulabh International which runs comfort stations at busy points in the city. A top official of the civic body said that routine checks are being carried out.
"We attend to all complaints to ensure that the issue is fixed immediately. We don't have adequate toilets at Thampanoor," the official said.
Pink Point project still a non-starter in capital
The much-trumpeted Pink Point project - which aims at setting up women friendly public toilets at busy points in the city, remains a non-starter.
The decision to introduce Pink Points was taken following the failure of She-toilet -which failed to draw women. There are around 22 she-toilets in the city.
Welfare standing committee chairman Palayam Rajan said that the civic body had set aside around Rs 65 lakh for the project.
The first Pink Point was planned at Palayam ward. "We had to put on hold the plans because of the upcoming polls.
The new council would be able to launch the project. The prime objective was to provide safe and hygienic amenities for women.
The project also has a commercial angle. We were planning to start it on a pilot basis," said Mr Rajan. The Pink Points would have a self-cleaning mechanism and convenience store.
Thampanoor bus terminal and railway station are the two busy points where there are no amenities.
A top official of the civic body said that women were at the receiving end due to lack of toilets. "Open urination is very common in Thampanoor. The worst hit is the stretch from Railway station to Over Bridge. We cannot raise this as we are not providing sufficient facilities," said the official.