Shopian women struggle as toilet block closed

Last week, a 28-year-old woman from a Shopian village in south Kashmir returned home with a nightmarish experience after visiting the town.

The young woman accompanying an elderly patient to District Hospital Shopian was embarrassed when she failed to find a washroom in the area.

As both the toilet blocks, the one in the hospital premises and the other in its immediate vicinity, were closed, she had to knock at the door of a residential house.

“It was a terrible experience and took me around 20 minutes to find a nearby residential house,” she said.

The woman said she was pained to see an elderly woman relieving herself behind a closed toilet block that was inaugurated last month during the ‘My Town, My Pride’ programme.

The facility was constructed by the Municipal Council Shopian at a cost of Rs 13.46 lakh under the Swach Bharat Mission.

At least seven such Community Type Public Type Toilets (CTPT) were constructed in the town.

A municipal council official said the area had around 20 public toilet blocks but locals said these either remain shut or are not in usable condition.

Khurshid Ahmad, a local alleged that the authorities paid no attention towards the issue.

The residents complain that people urinate behind the closed toilet block, causing inconvenience to the passers-by and the nearby residents.

The people visiting the area, particularly during the peak apple season suffer due to closed or unusable toilets.

“It is difficult to find a usable public convenience in the town,” said a non-local truck driver.