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Public Health / Sanitation

Public toilet turns money spinner, Corpn. comes in for criticism

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The Hindu        20.11.2017 

Public toilet turns money spinner, Corpn. comes in for criticism

Hoarding erected at the newly constructed public toilet complex in Gandhipuram.S. SIVA SARAVANANS. SIVA SARAVANAN  

Around 10 days ago, when Siddhapudur resident S. Manohara Manivannan went to use the newly constructed public convenience facility next to the Gandhipuram town bus stand on Nanjappa Road, he was asked to pay Rs. 5.

While exiting, when he questioned the person who collected the ‘fee’, he was told that it was a mistake to have collected Rs. 5 and that it was only Rs. 4. Thereafter when he demanded a receipt/token, a second person appeared and handed over a receipt.

A month or so earlier, when the family of a Coimbatore Corporation health wing employee went to the toilet, they too were asked to cough up money.

The Corporation, however, maintains that the facility is free. If complaints are brought to its notice, it will not hesitate to initiate action against the contractor.

But the story does not end there. Consumer activists say the Corporation has turned a public convenience facility into a revenue spinning machinery, for it collects money from not only public but also from contractor by way of letting out the premises for advertisement.

Coimbatore Consumer Cause’s secretary K. Kathirmathiyon wants to know if the Corporation is so poor to maintain the toilet that it wants to collect from the public by way of user charges and contractor by way of advertisement revenue.

Incidentally, the Corporation rebuilt the toilet with funds at Rs. 50 lakh that came from the Central Government under the Swachh Bharat Mission.

Corporation officials, citing the Swachh Bharat Mission guidelines, say the civic body is permitted to generate revenue by way of advertisements.

The guidelines say, “...ULBs (urban local bodies) may also identify land for public toilets and leverage this land and advertisements to encourage the private sector to construct and manage public toilets through PPP agreement.”

But with the Corporation constructing the toilet with government funds, it has no business generating revenue by way of advertisement. And even if it has to, the advertisement has to confirm to norms. In this case, it has not, Mr. Karthirmathiyon alleges.

He adds that if the Corporation is sincere about clean Coimbatore, it should have displayed Swachh Bharat message on the hoarding as its vantage location will reach more people.

However, the Corporation officials maintain that the advertisement is to generate revenue for the toilet maintenance and is in compliance to rules.


Now, citizen feedback on SwachhApp

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The Hindu        10.11.2017 

Now, citizen feedback on SwachhApp

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has allowed the citizens to send their feedback about cleanliness of their respective cities and towns on SwachhApp for the Swachh Survekshan 2018. It will enable the citizens of Tiruchi Corporation, which is taking a number of steps to improve its 2017 ranking from six, to send their feedback on SwachhApp.

As far as Tiruchi Corporation is concerned, 25,530 citizens have downloaded the SwachhApp. At least 50 % of them are said to be actively using the SwachhApp for registering complaints on garbage collection, sanitary operation, roads and others.

Special Officer cum Commissioner, Tiruchi Corporation, N. Ravichandran said that the citizens, who had downloaded SwachhApp, had to update it to enable them to get citizen feedback option on smart phones. The Corporation had been according priority to address the grievances of citizens received on SwachhApp. It had so far received 13,401 complaints. The Corporation had taken steps on 13,345 grievances.

Asking the citizens to send their feedback on SwachhApp, Mr. Ravichandran said that the citizen feedback would play a pivotal role in deciding the ranking. Hence, citizens should utilise the opportunity to register their feedback.


Civic body puts in place new strategy to combat dengue

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The Hindu     10.11.2017  

Civic body puts in place new strategy to combat dengue

Collector K. Rajamani inspecting a building at Kallukuzhi in Tiruchi on Thursday. Tiruchi Corporation Commissioner N. Ravichandran is also seen.HANDOUT  

Officials are now identifying and focussing on “hotspots” of fever cases

Consequent to the recent outbreak of dengue, the district administration has come out with a new strategy to combat dengue.

Under the initiative,entomologists, medical teams, health inspectors, sanitary workers, revenue and local body officials are now identifying and focussing on “hotspots” of dengue fever cases to treat patients and launch source reduction activities at micro-level.

Instructions have been sent to Primary Health Centres, upgraded PHCs, urban Primary Health Centres, taluk and district headquarters hospitals and 40 private hospitals in Tiruchi district to send daily report on fever cases.

The Health Inspectors of concerned areas will study the reports everyday in the morning to identify the hotspots.

According to sources, the areas, villages or wards where more than 10 fever cases have been reported will be treated as hotspots. Areas with more than three dengue positive cases or fever related deaths will also be considered as hotspots. Upon arriving at the list of hotspots, it will be sent to all officials right from the district Collector to rural, municipality, town panchayat and rural development for carrying out intensive anti-mosquito drives.

“The new strategy, which has been circulated to all concerned officials, seems to be working well to contain fever cases and controlling breeding of dengue causing mosquito. We cannot be complacent and the effectiveness of the strategy is being monitored closely,” says Collector K. Rajamani, who visits these hotspots every morning.

Deputy Director of Health Services I. Ravindran, said that the number of hotspots in the district had come down to eight from eighteen due to enhanced attention. The number of fever cases being admitted to Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital in Tiruchi has also come down to about 350 from 600 a day.

“We continue to receive dengue positive cases from Uppilliyapuram and Mannachanallur blocks. However, there has been considerable improvement in dengue control measures over the past week. We will employ more manpower in the hotspots,” Mr. Ravindran added.

Meanwhile, Collector Rajamani, who visited various areas including Kallukuzhi, Ulaganathapuram, Ramakrishna Nagar, Anna Nagar and others in 43rd ward of Tiruchi Corporation along with Commissioner N. Ravichandran on Thursday, detected Aedes Aegypti larvae on a under construction building of the Public Works Department at Kallukuzhi.

A penalty of Rs. 50,000 was imposed on the contractor for failing to take measures to prevent mosquito breeding.

Mr. Ravichandran also issued orders to suspend water supply to four houses on the same charges at Anna Nagar and M. N. K. Colony.

We cannot be complacent and the effectiveness of the strategy is being monitored closely

K. Rajamani

Tiruchi Collector


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