Islanders, tourists bewail shortage of public toilets at Jirkatang

Report by: 
KURMA RAO
Port Blair
16 Jun 2018

Though the UT Administration has introduced passenger vessel services between Port Blair and Baratang, road transport still remains the first choice for tourists visiting places in the Middle Andaman region. But lack of inadequate toilets at Jirkatang post continues to cause untold hardships for visitors and locals travelling in the ATR availing the convoy. Scores of vehicles line up at the convoy and the single public toilet facility near the Police Outpost fails to cater to the large number of visitors compelling them to loo in the open. Demand by political parties for construction of additional toilet facilities, installation of Bio-Toilets at Jirkatang has till now proved futile.
Serpentine queues of vehicles both private and public can be witnessed daily at the convoy start point at Jirkatang. The line up often extends to over a kilometre where passengers at the tail end respond to nature calls in the open rather than walking up to the Pay and Use Toilet facility. “Hundreds of vehicles line up for the convoys at Jirkatang. Commuters in the front portion of the convoy has avail the Public Toilet facility. But for those meters behind, approaching the Public Toilet near the Police Outpost risk the chances of missing the convoy after walking to the facilities takes several minutes. Such being the situation, commuters at the end loo into the open before embarking on the 1.5 hours journey to reach Middle Strait,” said some tour operators.
“The Administration should take necessary steps to construct an additional toilet facility at the end point of the convoy for the benefit of commuters. Such a step has become absolutely necessary at Jirkatang from where hundreds of commuters travel to Middle and North Andaman daily. Toilets at both ends of the convoy will encourage commuters to use the facility at Jirkatang, which currently witnesses unruly scenes of people urinating in the open,” said some tourists.