Though Mysuru city lacks sufficient number of public toilets compared to the city's population, it has already been declared as free from 'open defecation'. At present there are 69 public toilets in city, and 10 community toilets. Freshly tenders have been invited to construct another 425 individual household toilets; 6 community toilets and 30 public toilets.
If one visits the public toilets the ground reality is different as most of these toilets do not have proper facilities for women (no toilet paper and dustbins for disposable napkins) completely lack in hygiene and are not well maintained. As a result most women avoid using these toilets and the rural folk prefer to defecate openly.
People can be seen defecating openly in several parts of the city, including a couple of slums areas such as Vidyaranayapuram, lane adjoining the Landsdowne building, surrounding to busy Devaraj Urs Road, Udayagiri, Kesare, Mandi Mohalla, Hosabandikere in the heart of the city, the vegetable market on Mahatma Gandhi Road, foot hills of Chamundi and also near famous tourists places.
MCC Health Officer Dr Ramachandra said that tenders have been floated to construct new toilets and justified the award given to the city saying that it was given only after conducting a complete survey of the Mysuru city and the proposed construction of toilets.
Mysuru Grahaka Parishat former President Chandra Prakash said: 'Declaring Mysuru as free from open defecation is a big joke and surprise. It's just a self glorification by officials instead of taking honest measures to improve quality of the already existing public toilets and make them more people friendly.
“People can be seen urinating and defecating openly in public places, and more such can be witnessed in heart of the city, Doddakere Ground opposite to Palace. The problem is not solved by constructing more number of toilets. There is a long way to go to keep our city clean and make it a model for others. With the sorry state of affairs here, the plight of other cities just can't be imagined ,” said Roopa, a lecturer at a private college.
Mayor Bhyrappa admitting that open defecation is existing in city, said that soon more toilets will be constructed. He claimed that only tourists and migrant labourers who come to city from outside defecate openly, but not the local residents, mainly truck drivers and those who come for daily wage like coolies and workers.
“Most the people won't use existing public toilets. There is a need to bring a change in their behaviour. Some of them hesitate to pay Rs 1 or 2 to use the urinals. With the declaration free from open defecation our responsibility has increased. In the next couple of months, programmes will be chalked out to educate people and make city completely free of open defecation. There is a need to impose fine of Rs 100 from those defecate openly,” adds another MCC Officer.