| The woman, Rasmita Gochayat, who was injured when a public toilet collapsed, being treated at SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack. Picture by Badrika Nath Das |
Cuttack, Dec. 11: A 25-year-old woman was injured when part of a concrete pillar and the floor inside a community toilet caved in here.
Rasmita Gochayat’s right hand was fractured in the incident that occurred around 8.30am at Samanta Sahi. Two other women managed to escape unhurt. The area falls in ward No. 21 represented by mayor Saumendra Ghose.
“I was getting ready to take a bath when the mishap occurred. I was dragged into the debris and some local people pulled me up,” said Rasmita, who is being treated at SCB Medical College and Hospital.
The Samatasahi community toilet was established in 1982 and is now maintained by Sulabh International following an agreement with the Cuttack Municipal Corporation.
Local residents alleged that though the building was in a dilapidated condition, no steps had been taken by the officials concerned to repair it.
“Minor repairs of the floor were done after the 1999 super cyclone and despite several complaints, the authorities did not declare it unsafe,” said Babu Sethi, a local resident.
The Cuttack Municipal Corporation has given the charge of maintenance of 67 community toilets to Sulabh International for a period of 30 years.
The corporation pays Rs 1 lakh a month to the agency for all-around sanitation and maintenance of the community toilets, including 22 pay-and-use ones.
However, most of the public utilities under the corporation are reeling from neglect.
“Since long, the free toilets at Thoria Sahi, Chhatrabazar and Patapole are in a bad shape. There is an urgent need for renovation of the public toilets for maintaining sanitation in various parts of the city,” said Jay Pradhan, a resident of Professorpara.
Mayor Saumendra Ghose said the damaged public toilet would be repaired soon.
“There is a provision to shift a few public toilets, including the at Samata Sahi for work under the integrated sanitation project. We will shortly carry out repairs in different parts in the city,” Ghose said.
Ghose admitted that the corporation had received allegations that the pay-and-use public toilets were not being maintained properly. He promised that necessary steps will be taken to improve the facilities at these toilets.