Lucknow: For almost a year, the residents of Maudaha area in Uttar Pradesh's Hamirpur district would bow their heads and even perform 'pooja' outside a building in the premises of a Community Health Centre. The residents, who thought of it as a temple, were in for a rude shock recently after learning that it was a public toilet instead.
The saffron colour of the public toilet's walls is believed to have caused the confusion — it has now been painted pink. Although the toilet was inaugurated almost a year ago, it is yet to be operational.
The repainted walls of the public toilet.
The toilet was inaugurated with much fervour in the presence of the then Additional District Magistrate (ADM) Ajeet Paresh and Chairman of the Muadaha Nagar Panchayat Ramkishor, but the building's shape and saffron colour gave an impression that it was a temple, claim locals.
Honey Singh, who runs a general store near the toilet, said, "I have a shop in front of the toilet and due to its colour, people used to mistake it for a temple and would bow down in front of it. After the colour was changed, the confusion seems to have cleared. The toilet is not yet operational, due to which people are still facing inconvenience."
However, authorities appear to be playing a blame game.
"This public toilet was built by the Nagar Palika Parishad around a year ago and the contractor had it painted saffron. The colour caused much confusion and people used to mistake it for a temple," said Ramkishor.
Residents of Amritpur village in Etawah last year had painted saffron 100 of the 350 toilets that were constructed by the district administration under the Swachh Bharat scheme.