When was the last time you visited a public convenience in Jammu? If you did visit one, did the front opening bother you? If this question is unremarkable to you or has not made sense then take a look at this photo.
Looks funny no, seeing someone emptying their bladder? What if this was you?
This piece, ladies and gentlemen, is to make you understand an issue that is revolting but at the same time, just a little tweak can make this problem a money making machine for the government.
And this is not the only issue with ‘Sulabh Shauchalayas’ or the other government built Public Convenience toilets in Jammu and possibly in Kashmir too.
Dear Sulabh, why have You not thought about this issue? If you have, how come you have not brought it to the table and shown the government their faulty planning? It is surprising how an award winning NGO such as Sulabh International has not been able to ideate themselves the concept of proper public toilets in Jammu. This is not to pin point an error simply to put bad name on Sulabh. This piece of writing intends to discuss the outdated, obsolete and dysfunctional planning that the Municipal Corporation of Jammu and Kashmir indulges in. There is every possibility that Sulabh has to simply comply with the superannuated thought process that the Municipality of Jammu & Kashmir has not come out of.
When you go to Chandigarh or New Delhi, have you ever realized that the public toilets never open facing the road? That is because public toilets are not meant to open facing the road. Not only is a toilet opening facing the road an inconvenience for those passing by but also a closed front opening can work as massive space to place advertisements.
The side facing the road always has to be a wall and is in the bigger cities effectively used as a marketing space with glow sign-boards, hoardings and what not. That can be a regular way to make money in our cash starved state. But the old ideas and the people still practicing them in J&K Municipality hold high positions and are seemingly entirely oblivious to small problems faced because of poor execution of already terrible planning.
The dearth of new ideas is not the problem in our state. It is the practitioners refusing to plan afresh or be open to newer ideas already in place in other cities.
For instance, why do the public toilets have to provide an open show for the public to laugh at? All the following pictures depict the issue of front openings common to public toilets all over Jammu and Kashmir. And these are just a few places.
Dear Municipality, the front opening needs to go. The back entries need to be worked upon. A little investment here and the returns can be huge. Think about it!