The government's much hyped Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has fallen flat in south Kashmir's Tral township of Pulwama district due to lack of public lavatories in the sub-district.
The absence of public conveniences has become a source oftrouble to people, particularly to women. Despite being the commercial andadministrative hub for more than 100 villages there is only one public toiletnear bus stand area of Tral-I-Payeen.
With thousands of people visiting main town Tral daily,people find it difficult to answer nature's call as there is not even a singletoilet facility in busy Tral-I-Bala side. Even the sub-district's business hubAab Ghar Chowk, busy court road, and Sub-District Hospital road don't havepublic conveniences.
Often, people can be seen easing themselves on drains andopen spaces even after government claims spending crores of rupees on thepromotion of flagship schemes like Swach Bharat Abhiyan.
Hundreds of people including students, employees andshopkeepers turn to washrooms of local mosques in the absence of toiletfacility. "The authorities during all these years did not even try to constructany public toilet here. We did apprise the municipal authorities number oftimes about this issue but no one is bothered to solve this matter," saidlocals.
The worst sufferers for the want of a clean toilet are theladies, who could be seen easing themselves on drains and roadsides. "While themen use toilets constructed near Masjids or restaurants, the women have to besilent sufferers. Everyday five to ten women enter my house for usingwashroom," said an elderly woman Mehmooda of Old Market road.
A shopkeeper near Sumo Stand Tral-I-Bala told GreaterKashmir that in absence of toilet facility people have found an open spot wherethey are easing themselves.
"There is every risk of catching diseases as the open toiletspot emanates foul smell and breeds insects and worms," he said.
Saleema, an elderly lady from remote area Naristan, saidthat she has a habit of drinking a lot of water because of some health issues."Every Sunday I have been travelling to a private clinic located in main townTral but I never found any washroom facility anywhere," she said.
The officials on the other hand maintained that theyattempted to construct a few washrooms in the town but were not allowed byIdara-e-Auqaf Hamdania, Block Development Office Tral and Block Medical OfficerTral. "We had funds available for the construction of public washrooms in theheart of the town but no one gave us any space particularly on Tral-I-Balaside," said an official.