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No end to toilet woes in Kozhikode

Most e-toilets in city dysfunctional now

Over a decade ago, hundreds of women took to the streets of Kozhikode, demanding proper public toilets.

As a result, several e-toilets came up in the city. However, none of them is functional now, despite a long-standing struggle and repeated memorandums to the authorities.

With relaxation of COVID-19 curbs, and most women returning to their workplaces, the situation remains the same. As a matter of fact, it is not the problem of women alone. “We are forced to depend on the nearest hotel for using toilet,” said Divakaran, who travels to the city from Vadakara for work at S.M. Street.

The only public toilet near Mananchira is a Sulabh toilet complex on P.M. Taj Road, which is being used by travellers and those working in shops at S.M. Street. A toilet complex constructed at Mananchira Square is yet to be opened, while e-toilets have turned showpieces. The only other working public toilets in the city are at the mofussil bus stand and Palayam.

“Non-availability of toilets is a matter of concern for women,” said Supriya M., who works with an interior designing firm.

It is not that the Kozhikode Corporation is unaware of the matter. The corporation is constructing toilets at Moonnalinkal, near stadium, K.P. Kesava Menon Road, and near the city bus stand. The first two have been completed, but not opened, while the other two are under construction.

Deputy Mayor C.P. Musafir Ahamed in his recent budget speech had acknowledged the inadequacy of toilets in the city and announced an action plan to address the issue.

The corporation plans to associate with cooperative banks, voluntary organisations, and industries to set up eco-friendly toilets. The plan includes renovation of the toilet at the mofussil bus stand with modern facilities. The Deputy Mayor said the toilets under construction would be opened soon. The civic body has set aside ₹10 lakh in the budget for construction of toilets.

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