The Government of India’s ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ recently got a shot in the arm when Minister of Urban Development Venkaiah Naidu launched the ‘Google Maps Toilet Locator’ app to enable people locate public toilets in their immediate vicinity in five cities, including those in the National Capital Region (NCR) apart from Bhopal and Indore in Madhya Pradesh.
In the NCR region, this app will work in Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Faridabad and Ghaziabad. Using the keyword ‘Swachh Public Toilet’, users can access location related information of 5,162 public toilets near malls, hospitals, bus and railway stations, petrol pumps, metro stations and public and community toilet complexes in the five cities of NCR, 703 public toilets in Bhopal and 411 in Indore.
The App also provides information about the nature of the toilet seat available, free or pay for use, working hours, etc. This facility will be extended to other cities in due course.
The Ministry of Urban Development has partnered with Google to launch this service. Naidu also launched free to use ‘smart toilets’ set up by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi. Each of these smart toilet complex will also have a water ATM, bank ATM and digital health centre along with urinals for both men and women.
A ‘Reverse Vendor Machine’ set up by NDMC at Gate No.2 of Palika Market in New Delhi was also launched by the minister. When a plastic bottle is dropped into these machines, a receipt of credit of up to one rupee is generated. NDMC is setting up 20 such machines to prevent people littering plastic bottles in public places.
Naidu also presented ‘Swachhata Certificates’ to 12 cities and towns who have recently become ‘open defecation free’.
Their claims were verified independently by the Quality Council of India. These included Visakhapatnam, Guntur and Nellore in Andhra Pradesh, Thanesar and Sirsa in Haryana, areas falling under NDMC in New Delhi, Suchindram and Mailadi in Tamil Nadu and Khopoli, Kolhapur and Nandurbar in Maharashtra.