Guwahati: Union government’s Swachh Bharat Mission - Urban (SBM-U) has shown tremendous results around six million household and 4,50,000 community toilets have been built over the last four years. The official sources further state that 30,000 of these public toilets across 700 cities can also be located on Google Maps.
The Swachh Bharat Mission launched by the Prime Minister of the nation, Narendra Modi has rightly, turned the nation and its people towards good habits and better living. The cleanliness drive launched on October 2, 2014 had set a range of objectives like eliminating open defecation, eradicating manual scavenging, promoting scientific processing of municipal solid waste, and bringing a behavioural change about sanitation practices.
A ministry of housing and urban affairs official states, “SBM-U has two broad objectives: creating all Urban Local Bodies (ULB) open defecation free (ODF) and ensuring 100% scientific management of municipal solid waste in all ULBs.”
The official further informs that around 60.07 lakh individual household latrines (IHHL) and 4.55 lakh community/public toilets (CT/PT) have been built. The budget for the SBM-U for this financial year is Rs. 2,500 crore and as per the government reports, the urban areas of 19 states have become open defecation free. This certainly is a good progress of the mission.
Dr Shyamala Mani, Professor, National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), says, “Instead of looking at the numbers which may vary, we must focus on aspects of ODF which includes- accessible toilets along with the maintenance of the toilets involving cleanliness and hygiene and primary treatment of the excreta.”
The best part is that of the toilets being constructed under the SBM, 30,000 public toilets across 700 cities can now be traced on Google Maps. This has happened due to a partnership between the ministry and the Google in September as a part of encouraging all local guides in India to rate and review public toilets on Google Maps. Moreover, the citizens too are given a chance to locate public toilets in their cities on Google Maps and then provide their respective feedbacks on the condition of the toilets.
Chetan Krishnaswamy, director of Public Policy, Google, in a statement issued by the ministry, says, “Google is a committed partner in achieving the government’s vision of a Swachh Bharat. ‘Public toilets near me’ is a feature that is supported across Google Maps, Search and the Assistant.”
The response of users towards the ‘Swachhta App’ too has been tremendous as it recorded 8.1 million users and 13.1 million complaints so far.
Also read: Swachh Bharat Mission news