Hyderabad: Lack of highway toilets (except at one or two good wayside restaurants) despite the six-lane roads is proving inconvenient for travellers.
Expressways with no toilets or those with filthy and unusable ones pose a problem to anyone travelling on the State or National highways.
One has to hold their bladder for long, and women take the risk of relieving themselves in unclean and unsafe places. When toll tax is collected for use of highways, it is the duty of the authorities to provide these basic
Frequent traveller Mr Vasudeva Sharma said, “My wife suffers when travelling by bus due to lack of clean toilets along highways. She now refuses to travel by bus. It's a basic need. Union Minister of Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, is working on a 400-day plan to finish upgrading national highways. We need to get him to incorporate toilets as part of the plan.”
Mr Sharma has started an online petition asking people to be a part of the movement for decent toilets on highways. Not just travellers, even marathon runners find it difficult to relieve themselves on expressways.
Mr Sandeep Raj, member of Hyderabad Runners, said, “During the 350 km run from Chennai to Bengaluru, the members had to request institutions or coffee shops to allow the women runners to use the facilities while the men managed in the open. The women runners were helpless.”
A survey held in 2015 across Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Pune, found that highways got the highest number of votes (92 per cent) where toilets were needed the most.
A senior officer from National Highway Authority’s engineering wing said, “The city is connected to the National highways from Hyderabad to Vijayawada, Hyderabad-Warangal, Hyderabad - Sangareddy- Pune, Hyderabad - Kurnool and Sri Sailam and Vikarabad.
There should be toilet facilities at all toll plazas and at every 50 - 60 kms, modern amenities including hotels, fuel stations and toilets. But contractors are not willing to take up these works as per the allocated tender budget for the highways; there is no progress or plan to build toilets on highways....