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| Last Updated:10/03/2014

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Slumlords take charge of public toilets on Marina

TNN, 09 February 2014

 

CHENNAI: After land grabbers, it is now the loo mafia. Public toilets on Marina beach have been 'taken over' by gangsters from Ayodhyakuppam and Srinivasapuram who, corporation officials found, often refuse to let people use the toilets and illegally charge them for it. Officials caught seven 'loo grabbers' from other parts of the city and handed them over to police on Saturday.

 

Following complaints from beachgoers that they were being charged for use of public toilets on the Marina, corporation officials alerted vigilance officers. "The corporation and the public works department decided to make use of public toilets and parking free four years ago," said an official from the Teynampet zone.

 

Officers said a group of people was always sitting in front of the four permanent toilets on the beach. "The toilets were often kept locked and when people wanted to use the facility they would charge them anywhere between 5 and 7," said a corporation source. "At the same time they were allowing people from their own slum to use it for free."

 

The vigilance officers lodged a complaint with the Marina and Anna Square police stations. "We have requested them to conduct an inquiry and arrest those responsible," said a senior corporation official.

 

Seven 'caretakers' of public toilets in Ayanavaram, Aminjikarai, Adyar, Kodambakkam and Teynampet, found "occupying public toilets and illegally collecting money for their personal gains and restraining public from using the toilets" have been handed over to police.

 

Over the years, miscreants have found the corporation's neglected public toilets reliable sources of income. Just two weeks ago, two people were arrested for taking over a toilet in Royapuram and charging people to use it.

 

The corporation in the first week of January announced public toilets across the city could used for free. But many of these 'loo grabbers' have been earning around 5,000 a month. "These toilets are in such bad shape that it is proof that the income was not used to maintain them," said an official. Sources say these illegal caretakers survive by bribing councillors and conservancy staff.


Source:timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/Slumlords-take-charge-of-public-toilets-on-Marina/articleshow/30077230.cms