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Got to go? First, look up a map

Your biggest excuse for peeing on the roads-that Delhi doesn't have enough public toilets-will soon be invalid, reports Avishek G. Dastidar.

delhi Updated: Mar 19, 2010 00:00 IST
Avishek G. Dastidar

Your biggest excuse for peeing on the roads-that Delhi doesn't have enough public toilets-will soon be invalid.

The Delhi government is preparing the city's first “loo map” for the Commonwealth Games.

The map, being prepared by the tourism department, will tell you where public toilets are located and how much they charge. “We are preparing this map as a ready-reckoner for Delhiites and tourists,” Rina Ray, head of Delhi Tourism said on the sidelines of the first Delhi Tourism Conclave organised with the Confederation of Indian Industry on Thursday.

The map will classify toilets in terms of their location.

Apart from the common pay-and-use ones, officials will also chart the ones in fast food joints, restaurants, malls and food courts open to all. “The map will have them all clearly marked and explained for the benefit of the user,” she said.

Public toilets or the lack of them dominated the first day of the Conclave as various speakers cited “smelly public loos” the biggest hurdle to a good tourism experience.

“Apart from teaching Delhiites the Ps and Qs, we should also teach them 'pees and poos,” Amiya Chandra, Head, Remunerative Project cell of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) said talking about the absence of proper sanitary habits in Delhiites.

To fill the shortage of quality public toilets in Delhi before the Games, the MCD is constructing 300 "waterless unrinals" through private fast-food chains, which would also run their eateries on top of the toilet building. "It's an innovative business model. The companies would have to keep the loo clean in order to attract customers to their restaurant. We are floating the tender," he said.

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), which is sprucing up 46 monuments for the Games, too, highlighted on their plans on public toilet. "We will raze unnecessary constructions in several monument premises," said KK Muhammad, superintending archaeologist, ASI Delhi circle. "I can promise you these toilets will not be smelly."