Toilets: Then and Now, Part 04; Toilets in the News, Bus Station Problems

(Latin: toile to toilette in Middle French to "toilet" in English)

Toilets in the news

"Bus Eireann toilets being fouled and vandalised"

Bus Eireann acknowledged this week that the condition of the toilets at its bus station on the Quay is often less than satisfactory because of ongoing vandalism.

As a complaint from a member of the public was made earlier this week, Ray Kearney, Service Manager with Bus Eireann, said that the toilets are cleaned every hour by a team of professional cleaners and no sooner was the work finished and they are messed up again.

“Even the partitions between the cubicles have been broken or have had holes drilled in them for no other apparent reason than spying on people using the toilets,” said Mr. Kearney. He went onto say that the facilities at the bus station on the Quay are heavily used by bus commuters and by people who never even use Bus Eireann services.

“We provide the only free toilet facilities along the Quay but some people are not happy just to use the toilets — they insist on fouling them and vandalising them as well,” he said.

As a result of the ongoing damage, he confirmed that the toilet for the exclusive use of disabled customers is kept locked but he said that a key was available, on request, at the inspectors office.

—By Marion O’Mara Waterford News & Star, October 28, 2005

Schools raise stink over toilets

Jamshedpur, Oct. 27: The tall claims of the education department and the East Singhbhum administration to provide quality sanitation facilities to school students in the district fell flat with just one look at the washrooms in most government-run schools in the city.

At a recent meeting, the district superintendent of education had directed the authorities of around 120 government institutions to renovate or construct washrooms by mid-November.

The conditions of the toilets at Janata Middle School in Sonari, which was established in 1958, are miserable. Broken doors, water logging at almost every time of the year makes it impossible for the students and teachers to use the place.

“Girls somehow go to this toilet, but for the boys there are no separate facilities,” said Kalyani Chakravaarty, the principal.

The scene at Rajkiya CP Samiti Middle School in Sonari is no different. Lessons for students in Class V to VIII are held in the same room, with a single teacher. The toilets are no better off.

“The school toilet is used by the local residents as well. Though the girls occasionally use the toilet, the boys have to go to some neighbouring houses,” said Saroj Balmuchu, a teacher.

At Mahavir Maha Vidyalaya, in Jugsalai, girls had to stop using the school toilet as outside intrusions increased after doors and windowpanes broke a few years ago.

A scarcity of water is another major problem that most schools are going through.

At Thakkar Baba Middle School in Dhatkidih the toilets remains dry for most part of the year.

“Among the two toilets one is completely out of order and the condition of the second one is equally pitiable. Moreover, there is only one toilet for students and teachers, the boys, however, have to go out,” said Taramani Devi, the principal.

“Every school has been sanctioned a sum of Rs 40,000 for construction of toilets, we have already sent Rs 36,000 to the schools and the rest would be sent on completion. So we will make sure that the work gets done soon,” said S.P. Singh, district education officer.

Schools, however, denied having received any monetary help from the government for the said purpose. “We have heard about the sanctioned amount, but are yet to receive it,” added Taramani Devi.

—Nilanjana Ghosh Choudhury; The Telegraph, Calcutta, India; October 28, 2005

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