Google has teamed up with the Ministry of Urban Development, helping them bring out the service for locating public toilets. Type in ‘Swachh Public Toilet’ or just ‘public toilet’ into Google Maps and it will show you the nearest public toilet in your vicinity.
The facility is now available in NCR cities, Bhopal and Indore. It is available in Delhi, Gurugram, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Noida and two cities in Madhya Pradesh. The collaboration is to help India become open defecation free and address the issues of open urination and defecation.
5,162 public toilets on total can be identified that are located near malls, hospitals, bus and railway stations, fuel stations, metro stations and highways. It will also provide information about the kind of toilet seat available, tell them if the toilet is free or pay for use and give details about the working hours and more. The facility will soon be extended to other cities in the country.
For a place to receive open defecation free, it is mandatory to not just ensure they have sufficient public toilets, but to also ensure they are being used. Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu recently presented certificates to Visakhapatnam and 11 other cities and declared them open defecation free. The claims were verified independently by Quality Council of India before the certificates were presented.
Visakhapatnam, Guntur and Nellore in Andhra Pradesh, Thanesar and Sirsa in Haryana, NDMC, Suchindram and Mailadi in Tamil Nadu and Khopoli, Kolhapur and Nandurbar in Maharashtra are the states that were declared open defecation free.