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HindustanTimes Fri,26 Dec 2014

Soon, spot a toilet via GPS

Nidhi Varma, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, March 04, 2013
First Published: 01:45 IST(4/3/2013) | Last Updated: 01:46 IST(4/3/2013)

The civic body is planning to use technology to improve facilities at public toilets.

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Officials from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Council (BMC) said the global positioning system (GPS) project comprises preparing an inventory of the city's public toilet blocks, ratio of seats for men and women, and their condition. The project also aims to help commuters locate the nearest public toilet in the vicinity.

The National Urban Sanitation Policy says it is mandatory for each state to improve and develop sanitation facilities. As part of the policy, BMC drafted the proposal under City Sanitation Objective (CSO) and Special Sanitation Program (SSP).

Civic authorities confirmed the proposal has been contracted to CyberTech Pvt. Ltd., a geo solutions provider, on February 25. The firm will help conduct the survey to create an inventory. Anand Jagtap, officer on special duty, SSP, said, “It is an initiative to make the city free of open defecation and to develop and maintain a proper sanitation for floating population.”

Apart from counting toilet blocks and ratio of seats for men and women, civic officials said the agency will devise GPS system synchronisation that will help people easily trace toilets in their vicinity.

Jagtap added, “This survey was much-needed as details on public toilets are available only for 2001.” Mumbaiites are unsure whether the project is useful. Ritu Dewan, professor, gender economics of economics department, Mumbai University, said the proposal seemed slightly far-fetched.

“Using technology for a simple thing like tracking toilets and keeping them clean is good, but it would be more beneficial if citizens are consulted about their needs. The program will be successful if the authorities link it with the actual needs and requirements of citizens,” said Dewan, also an activist.


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