You no longer need to hold your pee if you’re in an unfamiliar place in Hyderabad. All you need is a smartphone enabled with internet facility.
In a bid to keep the city clean and prevent urination in public, technology giant Google and the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) have joined hands to provide location of public toilets on Google maps.
The initiative has been launched as part of the Swachh Bharat programme, said GHMC officials.
Officials informed that they have put 330 public toilets on Google maps so far, and 17 more will be mapped soon.
Hyderabad has a total of 347 public toilets including 109 pre-fabricated toilets maintained by the GHMC.
Speaking to TNM, additional commissioner (sanitation) B Manohar said that this initiative was necessary to prevent urinating in public and maintain the cleanliness of the city. “The toilets were listed on Google 15 days ago. This is part of the Swachh Bharat campaign,” he said.
“All you need to do is search ‘Swachh Toilet’ on the Google maps and the maps will show the toilets near your location,” he explained.
However, the dismal number of public toilets maintained by the GHMC in the city with a large population, has been frowned upon.
Ashok Kumar, an activist fighting for the construction of additional toilets, says that the city should have at least 2,000 toilets if at all the GHMC wants to make Hyderabad free of public urination.
Snubbing the initiative as a PR activity, he said, “This is all PR activity. The existing toilets in the city except for the ones maintained by NGOs are in working condition, while the rest are in a pitiable state.”
He said, “Most of these pre-fabricated toilets are either defunct or not well-maintained. I appreciate the efforts of GHMC in trying to be creative to help the citizens, but they should focus more on trying to maintain the existing toilets and constructing new toilets.”