Nip in air makes morning walkers demand adequate toilets at gardens
As mercury dips to 7.4 C and nature calls more often, exercise enthusiasts say civic body should at least install mobile toilets
Many Pune Muncipal Corporation (PMC) gardens in the city lack adequate toilet facilities for visitors, and the problem is keenly felt in the winter months as temperatures like yesterday morning’s 7.4 degrees Celsius make people desperate to empty their bladder at shorter intervals than usual.Girls and women are the most affected among morning walkers and other fitness enthusiasts as many of the old gardens in the city lack separate toilets for them.
Citizens are demanding more toilets in or near gardens. They want the PMC to at least install mobile toilets in gardens, especially in the winter season.
No relief: The PMC’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Garden near Sanas Ground has no toilet. Pic/Krunal Gosavi
The Sachin Tendulkar Jogging Track in Rajendra Nagar and Lokmanya Nagar (Navi Peth) have only one toilet seat each, whereas the Chhatrapati Shivaji Garden near Sanas Ground has no toilet at all. Only the Shamaprasad Mukharjee Garden in Patwardhan Baug offered a separate toilet for women.
Residents from Kondhawa and Wanawadi said that toilets at the Nulla Biogas Plant Garden near Super Mall were not in working condition. There were no toilets at the Shahid Ashok Kamte Garden in Wanawadi.
“I have visited different gardens in the current winter season and have found problems with toilets,” Shrikant Talpade, a senior citizen from Karve Road, said. “Either the toilets are shut or the condition is bad and unhygienic. Why are toilets not cleaned everyday when the use of these toilets is high.”
Subhash Desai, president, Lokmanya Hasyayog Sangh, who runs a laughing club at Lokmanya Nagar PMC Garden, said, “We have a group of 50 to 70 senior citizens gathering every morning at 6 am for our exercise. We face an acute problem because of lack of toilets. We had made the demand for toilets long back and finally work on a four-seat toilet block was started after local corporator Manisha Ghate took the initiative in that direction. But the work has been proceeding at such as slow pace that only four cement columns have been erected so far.”
Suresh Phadnis, a retired teacher and president of the Senior Citizen Group, Aundh, said, “There’s no toilet at Gaikwad Garden in Aundh.”
The other side
PMC Garden Superintendent Ashok Ghorppade said, “I am giving written directions to each ward office and zonal officer for taking care that cleaning of garden toilets is done. We can also see whether mobile toilets can be distributed to the gardens where the requirement is more.” Sunil Kesri, a senior officer from the PMC Garden Department, in a reply given in the civic body general meeting two days ago, said, “Construction of toilet seats is allowed in PMC gardens and will be done if the concerned corporator puts in a written demand in the GB meeting agenda.”