The Indian city of Chennai is to build new toilets for trans people.

Officials from the Chennai Municipal Corporation have identified three areas with the largest trans populations which will benefit from the new facilities.

The first will be built in Saidapet, where it will cater to those living in Kothamedu, Theedeer Nagar and Athuma Nagar.

The move is part of a pilot project to recognise the considerable trans community in south and central Chennai.

Each lavatory will have both female and male urinals.

Municipal commissioner Rajesh Lakhoni was quoted as saying that the scheme was aimed at “extending recognition to the community and mainstreaming them” and more facilities could be built if the public responded well to the idea.

However, there has been a mixed reaction from the city’s trans population, with some saying that it would open the way for discrimination and isolation.

“I don’t agree with this. We want to mingle with the mainstream. We don’t want to be separated like this,” said Aasha Bharati, president of the Aravanigal Association in Tamil Nadu state.

India’s first transgender television host, Rose Venkatesan, said: “It is a big problem, because not everyone has undergone a sex change.

“This is a good idea but in the long run, I see a society where there is no difference and all use the same toilets.”