Now, men in the National Capital Region have no excuse for relieving themselves in public places. The Urban Development Ministry, in collaboration with Google, launched a mobile app on Thursday, which will enable people to locate the nearest public toilet. The news has also come as a relief to the women in the city.
Using ‘Google Maps Toilet Locator App’, people will be able to access as many as 5,162 public toilets located near malls, hospitals, bus and railway stations, fuel and Metro stations in Delhi, Gurugram, Faridabad, Ghaziabad and Noida.
Welcoming the move, Riya Sharan, a resident of east Delhi’s Mayur Vihar area, said: “Unlike men, women can’t use open spaces for urination. It will be a wonderful option for us. We can now locate the nearby toilet with one click.”
The app will also inform users about the kind of toilet seat available, if the facility is free or not, and its working hours. The toilets can be located using computers as well.
Speaking at its launch on Thursday, Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu said: “The facility will be available in five cities in NCR, and in Bhopal and Indore in Madhya Pradesh. It will address the problem of open urination and open defecation.”
The minister further said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Mission has now picked up momentum, with 502 cities and towns, including areas under the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), declaring themselves ‘Open Defecation Free (ODF)’ in 2016. He claimed that most of these claims could be verified independently.
He also said that Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Sikkim have declared all their cities and towns ODF. Besides, Kerala, Maharashtra, Telangana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, and Union Territories of Chandigarh and Puducherry, are lead performers in toilet construction, having met over 75 per cent of their physical targets, Naidu said.
Earlier in the day, the NDMC had also set up a ‘Reverse Vendor Machine’ at Gate No 2 of the Palika Market. “When a plastic bottle is dropped in to this machine, it gives a receipt of credit of up to Re 1. NDMC is setting up 20 such machines to prevent littering,” an NDMC official said.