Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Scarcity of clean restrooms



Picture 089 Clean restrooms are scarce, bordering on non-existence. Bangalore City Railway station is one of most dense places in the city. It might not qualify as a crowded place compared to the city standards. But, It is definitely a dense place as you can hardly walk without touching a fellow human being inside the railway station. In such a place, I could not find a restroom. Considering the volume of people that passed through the station, it was hard to imagine that the restroom is not a necessity here. After enquiring around, I finally found a pay-and-use toilet tucked away, like a secret spy office in a James Bond movie, in one of the unobtrusive corners of the railway station. They charged a nominal fee of Rs 2 to use an urinal that stank! I refrain from drawing any parallels here. Be it inside the city or travelling on road, clean rest rooms are scarce.

The only decent options available in the city are the restaurants. If you are dining in a restaurant, it makes you eligible to use their restrooms. If you are walking in with a bladder which might burst anytime, you can still try to reason with the manager! The conditions of the restrooms are mostly pathetic regardless of the rating the restaurants get! For this reason, I prefer the malls. But unfortunately, I can only afford the restrooms in the malls.

Travelling long distance poses a bigger challenge. While travelling with spouse and kids, I have been advised to chart out the restaurants in advance for the much needed breaks. A couple of years back, when Reliance opened their gas stations, the gas station also featured a restaurant, an entertainment room and clean restrooms. When they reopened the gas station after the imbroglio on the pricing strategy, the focus has shifted gas station operations. So, the rest of the space have been rented out to others. There isn’t much to write about the rest rooms now!

On my way to work, I take a shortcut around Iblur lake to bypass the gridlocks. The roads aren’t paved. But, it is still usable. Everyday, I see a bunch of cars stopped near the lake. These cars are mostly Indica/Indigo types used as cabs for the major companies in the city. At first, I wondered why. Not anymore! I see the drivers lined up near the lake to relieve themselves. These drivers are easily identifiable in their white uniforms. For those souls who are on the run in this never moving traffic of Bengaluru, these places are the less populated areas where they can forget decency and get a relief!

Tags: Musings,Travel,Bangalore,Restrooms

6 comments:

  1. Statistically , there are more mobile phones in India than toilets

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  2. che!! Yes this is one of the most known problems but nothing has been done towards this direction.. dont knw y :(

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  3. Nice post!

    This is one problem in our country which defi makes me glad i'm a guy. There is atleast the option of relieving myself by a lake / tree / lamp post / street-side....just about anywhere!

    For women it becomes a big problem. Even i've faced tricky situations during long road-trips.

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  4. Hope that lake water is not for drinking.

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  5. @BKC - I have read the same! Wasn't it a UN report? It is shocking!

    @Vineeta - Sad... there is neither an awareness campaign nor government focus!

    @Vivek - Thanks for dropping by.

    Being a guy has it's advantage during the single days! :) When you settle down, you inherit the family's bladder too. ;) Then, it becomes real tricky!

    @Aparna - Don't even go there! I advise to have a water filter at home! :) Especially the kind which can kill millions of virus(courtesy TV ads)

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  6. Very true. Really sad state of affairs. But when going by stinking roads, there are times when one wonders when the woman can refrain from nature's calls, why can't the man?

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