Public peeing: It’s disgusting but who cares
By Jamila Achakzai
ISLAMABAD: Islamabad is beautiful but people urinating and even defecating at public places - especially near bus stops and along roadsides – are putting a scar on it.
Majority of people who relieve themselves at public places say public toilets are fewer in number, filthy, stinky and they charge service fee.
A woman at Peshawar Morr, Mrs Shamim told Daily Times, that it was a shameful act to urinate at public places and that people felt no shame in polluting roadsides and bus stops. Commuters can’t stand near these places due to the stink and filth.
A man described public urination as the most disgusting habit among people. He said people who urinate in open were not even bothered by the presence of women around. “I don’t know why people urinate in open when the city has plenty of public toilets and such unethical practice should be banned and heavy fines should be imposed on violators,” he said. Nazar Muhammad, a government employee, said people should attend nature’s call before leaving their houses to avoid embarrassing other commuters.
Daily Times tried to speak to men who had just attended nature’s call in open but they all ran away. Majority of them were drivers, conductors, vendors and labourers. The few who spoke said they didn’t use public toilets because of service charges and stink.
A man said in most of the public toilets, there was always a risk of water shortage that often landed the toilet user into a critical situation. He alleged that scavengers and vendors were using public toilets as garbage heaps. He said the Capital Development Authority (CDA) had awarded the contract for operating public toilets to private contractors who cared little about cleanliness. “Instead of paying to use a dirty toilet, I prefer to use an open place to relieve myself,” he added.
Some justified their act by saying that one public toilet in a sector was not enough to cater to a large number of commuters and that the people defecating or urinating in open were mostly poor who could not afford service charges for using public toilets.
Shumail Khan, a vendor, said he earned Rs 400 a day and that he had been suffering from a stomach problem. He said he could not afford paying Rs 5 four to five times a day. A woman said women and children suffered due to early closure of public toilets. She said women avoid using public toilets due to unmentionable social reasons.
People also complained that most of the public toilets were closed before the evening and caused inconvenience to commuters. They demanded the CDA ensure round the clock operating of public toilets.
Daily Times tried to contact CDA Sanitation Director Mustafain Kazmi but he was not available in his office. Qazi Shabbir Ahmad, his deputy, said he had no details about the number of public toilets in the city and that the CDA was not considering running public toilets 24 hours a day.