The ministry of water and sanitation has announced the launch of a system to monitor the use of toilets real time.
A press release issued by the ministry said people across the country will be mobilised “to check and verify the use of toilets in the rural areas through mobile phones, tablets or iPads and upload the same in case of any discrepancy on the ministry’s website in tune with online citizen monitoring.”
The release failed to specify how this monitoring system would work exactly.
“What it probably means is that the government wants to ensure the toilets used are not turned into store rooms or cattle barns. Also anyone, anywhere could click a picture of a badly built toilet and upload it on the ministry’s website,” said an official from the ministry.
The nationwide real time monitoring system will begin from January 2015.
The focus on usage of toilets under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan stems from the failure of its earlier version the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan in which the government emphasised toilet construction but not its usage.
A study done by the Research Institute for Compassionate Economics (RICE) early this year found that people preferred defecating in the open despite having toilets in their homes. About 47 per cent of those who defecated in the open said they found open defecation more comfortable.