Civic body reconsiders plan to install more e-toilets

Monday, January 28th, 2013

KOZHIKODE: The corporation is reconsidering its decision to install more electronic toilets following the lukewarm response received from the public for the e-toilets installed at various places in the corporation. Women are reluctant to use e-toilets as they are not familiar with the technology used in the toilet.

The civic body has decided to reconsider its decision following complaints from public, who had urged the authorities that the new system should be introduced only after removing public apprehensions. Many women say that they have refrained from using the toilets fearing that they will get stuck inside due to the coin-operated automatic locking system.

Corporation officials, however, said that the public apprehensions were misplaced as the toilets can be opened manually from inside and only the access was controlled using the coin machine.

“We have decided to reconsider the decision as many have expressed apprehensions over the new technology used in the e-toilets,” said corporation social welfare standing committee chairman M Radhakrishan.

The civic body has started considering other schemes to set up e-toilets. “We are considering the ‘she-toilet’ scheme recently announced by the government. We will hold a discussion with the Eram Scientific Solutions Private Limited Company which installed e-toilets,” said Radhakrishan.

The Thiruvananthapuram-based company had installed around 15 coin-operated e-toilets in the city.

The demand for separate toilets for women and their privacy had been raised from various corners after an employee of a private hotel was caught for fixing camera in the ladies’ toilet in a restaurant in the city in 2010. The civic body had then entrusted the company to install e-toilets following a direction given by ombudsman for local self-government institutions on the basis of a petition filed by Streechetana general secretary K S Jayashree.

The company is planning to launch an awareness campaign on how to use the toilets.

“The system failed due to lack of awareness among women on how to use e-toilet. We are planning to launch a campaign to cultivate healthy toilet habits and promote hygiene,” said Jayashree.