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Public Toilet PPP Initiative

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Public HealthPraja related

I am proposing a PPP initiative to manage public toilets that are constructed and are in a pathetic condition or not really accessible to citizens when it is really required.

Please do let me konw your thoughts on the attached proposal on managing public toilets.

I have tried my luck with all the government officials in this regard from filing RTI to meeting the Dy Commissioners in person. But nothing bore fruit :-(

 

If there is a critical mass to take such a thing forward, I will be more than happy to channallize my time and energy towards it.

 

Thanks

Nagraj

Be The Change YOU want to See!

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murali772's picture

outsource maintenance

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Yes, this is indeed a most important aspect of city governance, though it has received very little attention, both from the citizens as well as from the powers that be.

Many 'Nirmala' toilets, courtesy the Infosys Foundation, were installed all over the city. But, their maintenance has been far from satisfactory. Besides, whereas toilets should remain open till late into the night after opening early in the morning, the BBMP possibly mans it on a single-shift basis, resulting in their remaining locked when they are most required.

However, rather than what has been suggested, a simpler and more practical solution may lie in handing over the maintenance of the toilets to a local eatery for an attractive concession in property tax, and thereafter the BBMP engaging itself only in regular inspections.
 

Muralidhar Rao
nagrajprabhu's picture

The proposed plan is not to

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The proposed plan is not to construct any new public toilets.

The plan is to manage the existing toilets in a way that has never been done so far. Can a daily wage construction worker as well as a VP marketing or a CFO can use the same toilet without having a preconceieved notion?

How to make toilets agnostic of cast, creed and class of society? Because the urge to relieve is quite humane and is involuntary.

I am not only talking about Niramla toilets, I am also concidering the unkept toilets at BDA complexes, government structures and even on the highways.

Is funding an issue here? I don't think so. But the govt rules for letting a PPP initiative might be an issue. I am saying this as per my experience with the BBMP office at Mahadevpura.  

Nagraj Prabhu
Be the change you want to see!

ssheragu's picture

Public Toilets

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ssheragu

Hai Nagarjprabhu

I have gone through the document; these are my suggestions; they are more of a general nature rather than addressing the PPP initiative 

Toiles need not be free - cost should be on optional basis; those who can pay or can afford to pay, let them pay and thereby fund the maintenance

 It is to be positively ensured that the toilets are not footpaths or on pavements, but recessed from these.

3 The toilets should be open round the clock.

I feel that at least 5 or 10 feet wide area can be identified around every toilet and nice greenery can be developed and maintained to enhance the cleanliness of the area

5 A board should be displayed requesting the public to use the toilets with toilet sense (without wetting all over the place and dirtying the place like spitting, throwing cigarette buts etc.

6 A board should be displayed requesting the public not to throw litter all around and to use the toliets as toilets in their own home

A board has to be displayed announcing that the people who clean and maintain the toilets are not cleaners or scavengers but health inspectors

 8 The health inpsectors should be given proper protective wear like hand gloves atleast upto the elbow, rubber boots, plain goggles, cap, apron etc for cleaning; they should be reprimanded or fined if they do not wear these while cleaning

9 The health inspectors should have a minimum qualification like SSLC; if not they should be sent to adult classes in the evening after their duty in the morning

 

10  [CLEANLINESS OF THE TOILETS IS AS GOOD AS THE       CLEANLINESS OF THE HEALTH INSPECTORS AND THE RESPECT       THEY GET FROM SOCIETY]

11 Companies selling toilet items like toilet cleaning liquids, soaps,       detergents, toilets should be asked to advertise and funds collected from them for advertisement should be used for maintenance

12 Funds required for maintenance of all toilets in each city / area can be collected from companies like infosys etc. and also philanthrophists and used for maintenance

 13 If feasible, people should be encouraged to use toilet paper follwed by water to save water; usage of paper is very handy when (GOD FORBIDDING) there is no water ; when there is no water, a board should be put up stating that there is no water and public should be asked to use paper

I will offer a more suggestions later.

many thanks

Srinath Heragu  

murali772's picture

Outsourcing on the cards

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Mr Siddaiah is said to have told them that he would submit the same (memo from Pourakarmikas against outsourcing) to BBMP and asserted that the law permits that contracts can be entrusted only through a tender process.

For the full report in the New Indian Express, click here

Now, particularly after the CWG (Delhi) fiasco, it should dawn on the governments that outsourcing alone has to be the way forward, and it should no longer allow itself to be held to ransom on such matters by the various mafia's involved. But, rather than following the revenue-oriented tendering process, particularly for something that's essentially a service, perhaps a simpler and more practical solution may lie in handing over the job to a local eatery for an attractive concession in property tax, with the BBMP thereafter engaging itself only in regular inspections.
 

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

Top 10 public toilets around the world

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http://in.news.yahoo.com/travel-picks-top-10-toilets-around-world-104957799.html

Whether you call them a restroom, loo, lavatory, toilet, or "the facilities", they are always an important part of being on the go. With this in mind the members and editors of travel website VirtualTourist.com (www.virtualtourist.com) have compiled this list of the "World's Top 10 Toilets".

When public toilets in India start figuring in this list is when we can call ourselves a developed country.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

sorry state

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The study found that for both foreign and domestic tourists, the key factors that were categorised as low in satisfaction and high in importance included hygiene and sanitation in and around monuments/ destinations, solid waste management around the monuments/destinations, and absence of hygienically maintained public amenities like toilets.  - - - - “However, it was felt that the social awareness campaign, though a step forward, was not enough to meet the magnitude and pervasiveness of the problem of lack of hygiene and cleanliness. The need was to put in a comprehensive strategy, in partnership with stakeholders (emphasis mine), providing for multi-pronged action. Hence, the Campaign Clean India has been proposed,” a release said.

For the full report, click here

R Narayanaswamy, Corporator of Jalahalli said that the BBMP had closed the public toilet due to lack of water.

And, for this report, click here

The solution plainly points to outsourcing maintenance, as stated in my earlier posts on this blog. But, apart from discussing these issues in 5-star hotels, the neta-babu combo don't ever seem to want to look at practcable solutions. And, the typical civil society lot are perhaps afraid that it may add to the profits of the 'outsourcee', since they can't live with it, even if otherwise they have to live with unclean toilets.

Muralidhar Rao
ramesh_mbabu's picture

An interesting experiment/business model

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Interesting story of India's first e-toilet
 

http://www.rediff.com/business/slide-show/slide-show-1-special-interesting-story-of-indias-first-e-toilet/20111216.htm

PS: Some of the numbers quoted are absurd

kbsyed61's picture

Execllent!

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@ramesh_mbabu

Kudos to the Eram's team led by Vinod for the Delight e-Toilet and its success.

I must share that while my recent visit to Bangalore, I had thard time in finding a restroom (leave alone decent one) while doing shopping in areas liek Majestic, Commercial Stree, Brigades etc.

It is an irony that the affluent Commercial Stree businesses doesn't even have toilets for their own use or for their employees. Even big stores like 'Fazal's do not have one. Their employees have to depend on the public toilet on dispesary road. Only respite is to walk to 'Woody Restaurant' or go to nearby mosques.

I am sure government would be ready to 'Privitaize' this? Any takers? Will private sector would like to foray into non-profit social ventures?

 

Naveen's picture

Public toilets & initiative/s

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Ramesh mbabu,

thanks for posting this - it is clear that there is no dearth of ideas or talent to produce equipment that is suitable for our needs, however, there is just one thing lacking - proper govt regulation.

Despite having the dubious distinction of having the world's largest population that defecate in the open (638 million - see this earlier post), there is no govt directive to stem this.

I think it's high time that defecating or urinating in the open or on road sides must be made punishable, but who will bell the cat ? If such a regulation is made mandatory, all state govts will have to allocate huge sums to build the millions of toilets required. At least, they could start a pilot programme in the major cities & highways first.

murali772's picture

same story, all over again!

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Next time you visit a public toilet in the Southern areas of Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike, carry tissue paper without fail. That is, if you can bear to get past the dirt and the unbearable stench. The contractors, who had signed up for the maintenance of public toilets in lieu of collecting user charges, have abandoned their contract agreement in view of failing profits. To make matters worse, the Water Board has threatened to disconnect their services for non-payment of bills.

The public toilets, generally known as Nirmala Souchalaya, have failed to pay their water bills since 2004 and they currently have to pay an outstanding amount of Rs 5,20,017.

The Superintendent Engineer of South Zone Bette Gowda said, “I have informed all Executive Engineers and Assistant Executive Engineers to trace the record of all contractors in charge of maintenance of these toilets. - - - We will invite fresh bids on April 10. We will also ensure clean and hygienic public toilets within City Corporation limits. We will waive off the unpaid amount, if necessary, in the interest of public.”


For the full report in the New Indian Express, click here.

The SE has said that he will invite fresh bids. Will that change matters? Hardly. The simple and practical solution, as has already been pointed out repeatedly here, would perhaps be to outsource the maintenance to the nearest reputed eatery for a reasonable concession on the municipal taxes levied on the eatery, with the BBMP just undertaking periodic inspections thereafter.

 

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

high court to the rescue yet again

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Recognising the lack of proper maintenance of the public urinals in the City, the Division Bench of Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice Aravind Kumar on Tuesday pulled up the BBMP and directed them to maintain their own public toilets before evincing interest in giving the contracts to their own personnel to maintain Nirmala toilets.

- - - The petitioner, R Lakshmi Prasad, in his submission had stated that software giant, Infosys, had constructed 126 toilets in various localities and entrusted the management of the same to a private company. After the expiry of licence, the BBMP without calling for fresh tenders had handed it over to people who are either employees of BBMP or members of the Palike Employees Association.

Stating that it is against the law, the petitioner submitted that these toilets are now maintained badly and sought directions to the respondents.

During the hearing, when the BBMP submitted that only some of the employees who are on the verge of retirement, will be given the contract to maintain the toilets, the Chief Justice said, “It is someone who will construct and you are making money out of it.”

When the counsel for BBMP tried to say that it is on their land the toilets have been constructed, the Chief Justice said, “They have done what you have not done.” The Bench then questioned the petitioners why can’t they consider Sulabh International for maintenance of the toilets and directed to implead them in the petition.


For the full report in the Deccan Herald, click here.

Sulabh is certainly a better option than what you have presently. But, better than that I would have thought, would be to outsource the maintenance to the nearest reputed eatery, with BBMP just doing the monitoring.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

villages to the fore

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If you're in Jhunjhunu and get a sudden urge to relieve yourself in public, you might suddenly find yourself confronted by whistle-blowers—literally. The Jhunjhunu zilla parishad has decided to rope in volunteers who will embarrass people caught urinating or defecating in the open by standing behind them and playing drums or blowing whistles.

Jhunjhunu zilla parishad's chief executive officer Ramniwas Jat said, "There are 288 gram panchayats in the district of which 30 have received the Nirmal Gram Puraskar as every house in these villages has a toilet." - - "We are constructing public toilets at each of these gram panchayats and people will be encouraged to use them. We want to raise awareness against the practice of urinating in public, which gave birth to the idea of beating drums and blowing whistles," said the officer.

"The idea will be implemented in 34 panchayats initially and if results are positive, other areas will also be covered under the initiative," Jat added.


For the full report in the ToI, click here

Isn't it a shame that when our villages are coming up with such innovative ways to curb the age-old practices, we in the tech capital of the country cannot do enough to curb such practices in our midst? May be calls for another petition to the CM, for whatever it is worth.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

go for it, Mr Mayor!

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The highlight of the visit, however, turned out be something that the team had not planned in advance. “We could not meet the PM and other Cabinet ministers. But we are really impressed with the public toilets in New Delhi and plan to construct similar toilets in Bangalore,” Murthy said. “In Delhi, toilets are  constructed and maintained by advertisement companies. They are well maintained, hi-tech, clean and luxurious,” he said.

For the full report in the New Indian Express, click here.

Hopefully, for once, the trip will serve some useful purpose. I had suggested a different model (see earlier posts in this blog). But, if there is a succesful working model, let's pursue it, and with all our might.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

the simple way out

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Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike officials should be penalised for not maintaining public toilets built at a cost of Rs 100 crore by the Infosys Foundation, members across party lines in the Legislative Council said on Tuesday.

Coming down heavily on the BBMP for lack of public toilets and poor maintenance of existing ones, JD(S) member M C Nanaiah said: "We must penalise BBMP officials for their apathy and lack of commitment to improve civic facilities."

The members were reacting to a clause in the Karnataka Municipalities (Amendment) Bill-2013, tabled by Minister Vinaykumar Sorake, which penalises public urination, besides littering and non-segregation of waste. The Council passed the bill that even has an imprisonment penalty for more than five violations.

Congress member K Govindaraju and Deputy Chairman Vimala Gowda wanted more toilets in the city. "The 100 toilet complexes constructed by Infosys Foundation chairperson Sudha Murty have turned into godowns as there are no power and water connections to these," Govindaraju said, supported by Vimala. - - - JD(S) member E Krishnappa pointed out that there are no toilets in and around Vidhana Soudha, though people come from all over the state to visit it. His fellow member K P Sanappa wanted to know: "How do the officials catch people urinating when there are no public toilets?"


For the full text of the article in the New Indian Express, click here.

A totally useless and unenforceable provision, quite like the member Mr Sanappa has pointed out.

The only, and simplest, way out is outsourcing of the maintenance of the toilets, preferably to the nearest eatery, as I have repeatedly been stating any number of times before too, and which suggestion had apparently found favour with Mr Siddiah, the erswhile Commissioner - check my post of 25th Sept, '10, above. I am certain many of them will be ready to unertake the job, perhaps as part of their CSR initiative, if it is facilitated properly. And, proper maintenance of public toilets is the crying need of the city.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

outsource it to the merchants

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Looks like  the BBMP is considering a proposal to involve vendors in keeping markets in the city clean. This was revealed by Mayor B S Sathyanarayana on Tuesday. - - - “Some merchant association members have approached me and said they would like to maintain parking. They have said that they will pay `20,000 per day to BBMP and also maintain toilets and drinking water facilities. This looks like a good option as the BBMP will get revenue. We are discussing whether the Palike can sign a MoU with them,” he said.

For the full text of the report in the New Indian Express, click here

Clearly the way to go.

More from the report:

Defending his decision to take the help of students in cleaning markets, the Mayor said that the BBMP was trying to create awareness among vendors through students. “I had called a meeting with various associations in K R Market and urged them to keep the premises clean. Flower Merchants Association is now distributing dustbins to members to throw flower waste. This will avoid littering,” he said. “After seeing students cleaning their premises, some of the vendors said they don’t want students to come to clean it, they will do it themselves,” he said. Everyday, 25 tonnes of waste is generated at K R Market alone.

Kudos to the students for building awareness amongst the merchants.

On public toilets, the Mayor said that most of the public toilets in city were built by Infosys Foundation. “We are not getting people to maintain those toilets. If two pourakarmikas each are given the responsibility of maintaining the toilets in two shifts- 6 am to 2 pm and 2 pm to 10 pm- they will get additional revenue of `300 per shift,” he stated.

The approach so far, which has not worked, and will not ever work either.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

dire need

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While travelling, women should continue to drink enough fluids and frequently empty the bladder. Unfortunately, many women do not drink enough water because of the fear of using dirty toilets and also the lack of decent toilet facilities in many places. This is a serious public health hygiene issue that we need to tackle with public private participation and education. Drinking plenty of fluids and frequent voiding are the most important.

Quote by Dr Deepak Dubey, Head, Dept of Urology, Manipal Hospital, Bangalore in an interview to ToI (for the full text, click here)

When is the government going to wake up to this dire need?

Muralidhar Rao
Sudarshan Mantri's picture

Prajagale, I too am aware fo

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Prajagale, I too am aware fo the pathetic conditions of the toilets. I remember a proposal of Mr Rao on the PPP model for this. I am meeting Dinesh Gundu Rao tomorrow to follow up on the cycle stand for cubbon park. I will discuss this issue too with him. Will update u all asap

murali772's picture

e, f, or g, is BBMP equipped to maintain them?

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The city’s first citizen promised to install eToilets across the city a couple of months ago. But don’t set out looking for them because you won’t find one.  - - - Though the city’s population is on the verge of touching 1 crore, it has only 504 public toilets, nearly 300 of which were constructed by Infosys Foundation. Unfortunately, most of these cannot be used due to lack of maintenance.
    
Quoting a private agency survey, Jayamahal councillor MK Gunashekar said the city needs 5,000 more public toilets given its increasing population. “Many toilets are in pathetic shape in busy places like KR Market and Majestic. Shortage of public toilets and the bad condition of existing ones are inconveniencing senior citizens and diabetics,” he added.

Worse, the 110 villages included in BBMP limits don’t have even a single public toilet. “The Centre earmarks funds for construction of public toilets, but I really don’t know why the BBMP has neglected this issue,” the councilor pointed out. Many public toilets don’t have water and they stink, said Lingaraju M, a sales executive with a telecom company. “Even for such bad facilities, they are collecting money,” he added.


- - - Sathyanarayana had this to say to justify the delay: “Since we are investing Rs 4.5 lakh per eToilet, all these days we were identifying the places which are safe to install them.” Installation work will start this month, he said. The contract will be given to a private company and the toilets will be built near hospitals, parks and bus stands.

For the full report in the ToI, click here.

These e-toilets are supposed to be new installations. But, when even the many existing ones are maintained poorly, how is the Mayor hoping that it will be any better with the new ones - e, f, g, or whatever? The simple way out is outsourcing the maintenance to the nearest reputed eatery, as has been suggested repeatedly.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

please get a move on

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The unbearable stench and filth in public toilets in the city could be a thing of the past if Minister for Infrastructure Development, Roshan Baig, walks the talk on his plans to build new public toilets. Baig admitted the inconvenience being faced by people, especially women, due to inadequate public toilets and poor maintenance of available public toilets in Bangalore.

There are only 504 public toilets in the city, and they are unevenly distributed. The BBMP maintains most of them and in many cases maintenance has been handed over to contractors, he said. Baig said the city’s population has touched nearly one crore, but there were not enough toilets. Based on the Delhi model, efforts would be made to construct toilets in different parts of the city under the public private partnership basis. These toilets will have good hygiene but there will be a nominal user fee.

The minister was displeased at the poor condition and maintenance of toilets in the Vidhana Soudha and the Vikasa Soudha. “I have written to Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee to take immediate steps to repair the public toilets in the two buildings.   


For the full text of the report in the New Indian Express, click here.

Last when I went to the Vikas Soudha (some three months back), I had noticed that toilets where in poor shape, even with this being a comparatively new building. I was then wondering as to why the neta's & babu's, who can carry on with such a state of affairs in their own premises, will ever bother with public toilets. Apparently, the stench has become so unbearable that it has finally woken up a neta - good for him.

Now, the Delhi PPP model was talked about as far back as 5th March, '13 (scroll up to read my post of that date). The model involves ad agencies. The problem with that could be that they would cut out even the little ventillation that toilets are generally provided with, with their bill-boards, etc. As such, I would have preferred a simple arrangement with the nearest reputed eatery for a nominal concession on property taxes. Whatever, if the Delhi model has worked well, fine, let's follow that. Either way, there's no time to lose. We can't just be debating even as stink reaches even upto the heavens. Let the action start.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

swachch public toilet abhiyan needed

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That our Garden City increasingly looks and feels dirty has been reiterated yet again. According to a survey which zoomed into public toilets across seven Indian cities, Bengaluru ranks fourth in dirtiness quotient (DQ); it scored 53%. The data was collated from people using toilets at key places like railway stations, airports, along highways, restaurants, temples, heritage sites, etc.
 
With a 74% DQ, Kolkata tops the list. Mumbai and Chennai are in second and third positions with DQs of 72% and 71%, respectively.
 
The findings come ahead of World Toilet Day (November 19). The results, however, are little surprising — of the one billion people living without access to toilet facility across the world, nearly 600 million are in India.
 
World Toilet Day intends to shift the focus on the critical health need of 2.5 billion people in developing countries, including India as far as hygienic toilet conditions are concerned. The study was conducted by HolidayIQ.com, an online travel community. Over 10,000 citizens and tourists were asked about the dirtiness quotient in toilets across these cities, and whether this played a pivotal role in planning their trips.
 
- - - - For the records, BBMP has 400 public toilets in the city but officials admit the civic body hasn't been able to maintain them. Many of these toilets are either closed or flooded with dirty water or are leaking. Even though their upkeep has been tendered to private companies like Sulabh and Nirmala, one would dread entering them, thanks to the unbearable stink.
 
For the full text of the report in the ToI, click here.
 
This is a crying shame on the country. As such, "Swachch Bharat Abhiyan" has perhaps to start with the city toilets. 
 
In my understanding, public toilets maintained by Sulabh are generally in a better shape than those maintained by BBMP, including the 'Nirmala' toilets set up with funding from Infosys Foundation. But, even that's not good enough. The answer, as I have been repeatedly pointing out, would be to outsource the maintanance to the nearest reputed eatery, who I am sure will be happy to take it on, very likely just for the goodwill that it will earn them from the local community, apart from CSR, or property tax rebate considerations.
 
It's time the Civil Society joined together to push for this. 
 
Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

towards swatchch public toilets

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In Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, the responsibility of managing and maintaining a set of more than 160 community toilets was handed over by the Tiruchirapalli City Corporation to a federation of women self-help groups. A post-programme field survey of 803 households revealed that the community participation had resulted in the public toilets being far better maintained, with improved community hygiene, reduced open defecation and an increased number of toilet users than has been the case with similar public toilets elsewhere. The same results are seen with NGOs working in Chennai slums in Kalyanapuram, Sivarajapuram, Semmanchery, Thuraipakkam, and Kodungaiyur, where the community has been involved in water and sanitation programmes.

Clearly, wherever slum development programmes have involved the community at various levels, it has generated a sense of ownership over the project, and has helped ensure its success.

- - - In the traditional public provision model, the planning and positioning of infrastructure is quite ad hoc. This results in overuse of infrastructure, which leads to disrepair or abandonment of the infrastructure itself. In contrast, NGOs and CBOs use a bottom-up approach to planning, construction and maintenance of infrastructure. This model vastly improves access. By paying adequate attention to the needs to the community, alternative service providers have adopted innovative and cost-effective designs to provide better access to service. And, most important, there has been an effort to maintain the facility to ensure that infrastructure is always available. For instance, Mahila Milan, the National Slum Dwellers Federation, and the Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres have joined hands in Mumbai to adopt cost-effective designs and materials to create well-ventilated toilets with sufficient running water and lighting.


For the full text of the report in The Hindu, click here.

This could be another option, in addition to the many suggested earlier in this blog. Whatever, the status quo cannot continue if we have to have a swatchch Bengaluru

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

Is Namma Bengaluru out to snub NaMo's "swachh bharath" abhiyan?

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Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has held up payment to the agency that set up these eToilets across the city, leaving the agency on option but to stop operations. According to Eram Scientific Solutions Private Limited, the civic body has defaulted payment of a whopping Rs 3 crore to the agency for almost a year now.

Eram was entrusted by BBMP to install 75 eToilets in the city, 46 of which it did. The agency submitted three sets of invoices to BBMP for the work that it had completed. Even after a full year of submission of the first bill, no payment has been made so far, leaving the company with no choice but to stop work. "Our agreement clearly states that payment has to be released within two months of execution of the work. Even a year after completing and submitting bills, we haven't been paid.

For the full text of the report in Bangalore Mirror, click here.

So, that was the status of the e-toilet project (about which a lot of talk had been generated by the powers that be - check my post of 9th Jan,'14- scrolling above) as of August, earlier in the year. I wonder if things have improved any after the newly elected BBMP council has taken charge.

Whatever, there doesn't appear to be any urgency on the part of Namma governmentu, or even the BBMP, on the "swachhatha" front. Is this their way of snubbing the PM?

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

why not involve cab aggregators in swachh public toilet campaign

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As compared to the Namma Bengaluru lot (see my earlier post), the AAP govt, in Delhi, appears to be doing a fair job on the "swachhatha" front, unmindful of some of the credit for the effort invariably getting appropriated by the NaMo sarkar. They are in the process of refurbishing some 200 odd public toilets, all across the city, as seen in the picture.



And, one hears that similar effort is in progress on the solid waste managemnent and other fronts too.

But, the more important question on public toilets is "have they figured out a sustainable mechanism for maintaining them, or are they also going to be "mis-managed" by the government machinery, as they are generally wont to, quite like with BBMP (Bengaluru) in the case of its Nirmala toilets?"

Now, while I have all along been suggesting outsourcing the maintenance to the nearest reputed eatery, a thought struck me as to why not outsource the job to a consortium put together by Ola, Uber, ZipGo, etc, since after all it's their drivers who would have the biggest use for these toilets. The costs can perhaps be charged to their CSR accounts too.

Well, in the very first place, the AAP government has to allow them to operate, which apparently it is not prepared to, yet, perhaps pandering as it is to the taxi lobby vote bank. And, even in Namma Bengaluru, the Transport Department is doing everything possible to make life difficult for them (check here).

Citizens are however largely unanimous that the services have come as a boon, and also believe that they can improve further if the government facilitates their operations, rather than exercising all kinds of unnecessary controls.

This is where the states need to do their bit, even as the Modi sarkar's efforts have improved the country's ranking in "ease of doing business" from 142 last year to 130 today (check here). In its wake can come swachh public toilets and many other public amenities too.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

moving in the right direction - now for the next step

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The next time you are out and have the urge to go to a toilet, you can find the one nearest to your location through an app on your smartphone. The urban development ministry on Thursday launched a Google Map toilet locator app to help people find clean public restrooms close to them in Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Faridabad and Ghaziabad in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Bhopal and Indore in Madhya Pradesh.

Union urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu said the app would be another step in the direction of addressing the problems of open urination and defecation. Using the key word `Swachh Public Toilet', users can access 5,162 public toilets located in malls, hospitals, bus and railway stations, fuel stations, Metro stations and public and community toilet complexes in the NCR. Similarly they can also find 703 such toilets in in Bhopal and 411 in Indore.


For the full text of the report (emphasis added by me) in the ToI, click here.

As I understand, from a report in NDTV, the app will also provide for a feedback (star rating) on the maintenance aspect of the toilets. Hopefully, all of that would lead to improved public toilet facilities in the cities - Bengaluru too. But, the moot question is, can the toilets in places other than the malls, etc, be managed by a municipality, directly? That's where I have my doubts. As such, the best option would still be for outsourcing the job to the nearest reputed eatery, as I have been suggesting from long. 

Alternatively, now that a more resonable set of cab operator guidelines have more or less been put in place (check here), perhaps the Uber-Ola consortium could be entrusted the job, as suggested in my post of 20th Nov (scroll above, to read).

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

good going

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Passing along the Ganesha temple road in Koramangala, I was surprised to see the Nirmal toilet in the vicinity bearing a swank look, with a signage reading "Vishal International Association" displayed on top. Googling the name, I came upon a report in the DNA (of May'15, click here to read), the salient part of the same reading as below:

The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike has roped in Vishal International Association, a Bangalore-based NGO, to construct AC public toilets at some of the major locations in the city - - commuters traveling on that stretch can attend to nature’s call in clean toilets by just paying Rs 2 for urinals and Rs 5 for toilet facilities.

Good going, overall, I'd say. Finally, BBMP seems to have got it right. So, can we have more now, all across the city?

Muralidhar Rao

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