A nation without toilets

The editorial “Where are the toilets?” (Nov 19) raises a very pertinent question. Yes, a toilet is definitely an index of development and in our mad run after microchips, we are badly forgetting the civic amenities and losing ourselves in the Silicon Valley. China has taken a great initiative by holding the fourth annual conference organised by World Toiled Organisation with a view to seeking more hygiene and environment-friendly public toilets.

India, with its burgeoning population, needs to pay much greater attention to the provision of public toilets and urinals than any other country. Disgusted by the rows of people on roadsides, someone once described India as a big urinal. No amount of electronic development can raise a country’s position unless it maintains high standards of cleanliness. However, it is not too late yet. Today, China has just 3.18 communal toilets per 10,000 citizens. India too, with 70 per cent of its population having no access to proper toilets, may take an equal initiative.

To provide best public toilets with less expenditure, the following features should be kept in mind: recycling of water; self-cleansing design features; plenty of mirrors; reducing water consumption (sensors for cutting flush water supply from 11 litres to 4 litres); and running soft music in toilets (it will inculcate among the users a feeling of maintaining cleanliness).

Er JAGVIR GOYAL, Chandigarh




It is said that when you forget your way in the jungle and notice defecation, be sure that you are near human habitation. India must follow the Chinese-type of “toilet revolution”. In India, Sulabh Sauchalaya is rendering good service to people. But sanitation in colonies and villages should improve. In places where public toilets and urinals are provided, people do not maintain them properly. There is need to spread public awareness on sanitation and hygiene through the print and electronic media.

L.N. SHARMA, Panchkula


A clean and proper toilet facility is a basic necessity for human beings, the absence of which breeds various kinds of diseases. NGOs, corporate bodies and the government must give top priority to this problem for the benefit of society. I agree with the view in the editorial that our planners and experts have failed to give serious thought to provide proper toilets.

C.R. JINDAL, Chandigarh

VC clarifies

Apropos of the report “PU VC helps Badal to finalise courses for college”, I was really surprised to read the news attributing personal motives to me and my appointment which, as is well known, was made in July 2000. I have been in the university for the last 35 years and there has been a large number of people who have come in contact with me in the university, in Chandigarh, in the country and abroad who are well aware about my credentials and approach to life.

The motive attached to me is absolutely wrong and is not at all fair. The nominations to the Senate take place at a much higher plane. Shri Sukhbir Singh Badal was already in the previous Senate as well and the reason is someone’s figment of imagination. Whatever comment has been made regarding me and the nominations, is far from facts, and is absolutely wrong. Obviously, this has been motivated by some persons.

Regarding the advice to Mr Parkash Singh Badal, former Chief Minister, Punjab, about the courses, as stated in The Tribune report, I would like to say that this has been done intentionally with a motive especially when the important news and achievements of the university are never brought on to main page of The Tribune and these remain in the local Chandigarh Tribune. This also smells motive.

I wish to state many people from colleges in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh as well as Principals of colleges including their managements, have been meeting me in my office to discuss the type of courses they should start in their colleges. And these meetings had never appeared and I can quote several specific examples if anybody is interested to know.

In this particular case, I thought it more appropriate to take along the experts in the concerned fields in order to suggest courses for Badal College for the benefit of rural girl students. Therefore, I find that the news item was completely uncalled for and is malicious with a view to creating misunderstandings.

Prof K.N. PATHAK, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University, Chandigarh

Unjust toll tax

The imposition of toll tax by the Punjab government is unjust. I fail to understand where is the money being collected as cess on petrol and diesel @ Rs 1.50 a litre for the development of highways is going? The condition of the roads in the state continues to be miserable. Compare these roads with those in Chandigarh, Haryana, Delhi, Himachal, and Jammu and Kashmir. They have better roads and sell petrol cheaper.

The Punjab government is fleecing the public. Roads are bad. Petrol prices are high. And now comes the toll tax. The prices of petrol and diesel in Punjab should be on a par with those prevailing in neighbouring states. Only then, toll tax should be considered.



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