Public toilets of Tarikere have become the talk of the town, thanks to the initiative by the Town Municipal Council to keep them clean and attractive. The council’s efforts have been well received by residents of the town and people who travel on the busy Bengaluru-Honnavar highway.
Paintings on the walls of the toilets have been so attractive that many users take time out to take selfies on their mobile phone keeping the artworks in the background. “It is rare to witness people taking photos of toilet buildings. The staff members of Tarikere TMC deserve appreciation for this idea”, said Shashi Kumar, who noticed the toilets during his journey to Shivamogga from Bengaluru recently.
Under the Swachha Sarvekshana programme, Tarikere TMC chose to clean 11 public toilets in the town. “They were all in a bad state. A couple of toilets were sites to dump municipal waste. In one toilet alone we removed one tractor load of old clothes,” H. Mahanthesh, Chief Officer of TMC, told The Hindu. After cleaning them, the officer ensured these structures get regular water supply. Each toilet had a water storage facility but required attention in repairing the pipelines. “We used the funds available for water supply and repaired the pipelines. Later, we took the help of artists to do wall paintings”, he said. The council spent a few thousand rupees on the artworks.
Initially, the officers had apprehensions about the work. “Many opined that keeping toilets clean would be a difficult task. But, we took it as a challenge. We want to show it as one of the best practices in municipal administration”, the officer said.
Tarikere town has been declared open-defecation free. Among the 11 toilets, nine are regularly cleaned by the TMC staff, while two are Sulabh Shouchalayas, handed over to private agencies for maintenance.