The Byculla Zoo authorities are busy trying to manage surging crowds drawn to the Humboldt penguin exhibit. While it is good to see people queuing up at the zoo, which seems to be bereft of animals, zoo authorities need to take a good hard look at amenities for visitors.
A report in this paper stated that of the three toilets in the zoo complex that are under construction, two others, which are available, are not properly maintained. The washroom besides the birdcage and another one opposite the elephant cave is in such a bad condition that it is difficult to even access them. While this is specific to the zoo, we see that several public facilities fail to anticipate crowds or rush of visitors, who may need something as basic and necessary as a toilet on the premises.
The building of toilets must go on concurrently with the opening of a new exhibit or an attraction that is sure to bring in crowds to the facility.
In fact, the zoo must have clean, accessible toilets throughout the year. It is a sprawling space and even without new exhibits, it does manage to garner a substantial crowd everyday. Let us put hygiene and easy access to toilets on the top of our priority lists.
In Western countries, one can see attention to detail when it comes to clean toilets for the public. One can argue that there are lesser people visiting than here, perhaps, but it is apparent that great thought and importance has been given to amenities like toilets, drinking water, parking, and benches for the elderly to rest.
We may have challenges on the parking, given the space constraints, but authorities need to keep up when it comes to public toilets. This summer, expect a bigger influx of visitors to the zoos. Let there be more of clean, accessible toilets everywhere, especially at places specifically designed to bring in visitors.
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