Indian government to expand ‘Toilet Locator’ to 85 cities to help users locate toilets using Google Maps
The government has announced its plans to roll out ‘Swachh Bharat Toilet Locator’ in 85 cities by 2 October 2017. The app is available for download on the Google Play Store to help people locate public toilets near their location. The app was published by the Ministry of Urban Development and it uses Google Maps to mark out the nearby toilets in your vicinity.
According to a report by Times of India, the government has planned to launch the ‘Mission Toilet Locator; to Agra, Ajmer, Ahmedabad, Bhilai Nagar, Bhubaneswar, Dhanbad, Greater Mumbai, Guwahati, Jammu, Kochi, Vijayawada, and Greater Bengaluru. The department of Urban development has suggested the municipal bodies tie up with Quality Council of India to map all the community and public toilets in a given area under control by any given municipal body. The government started this in New Delhi and regions around the national capital.
The report detailed that about 50-60 people use the app on a regular basis in NCR and the initiative has pushed the municipality to map about 5,162 toilets across the region. As a part of the announcement, the ministry has plans to start a reward scheme to push users to use the feedback option along with ratings on the toilets in order to increase the popularity of the app.
As soon as you launch the app, you are presented with the option to search toilet for ‘Female’ or ‘Male’ in addition to the options to search any toilet anywhere and one where you can submit a new entry using the ‘Submit Toilet’. When you take any of the buttons to search the public toilets, the app pushes you to a Google map where you can see all the pins corresponding to toilets. When you tap on the pin on the map, the app tells you if the location has been verified along with a reference photo. One thing to note here is that the photo is not always a proper image of the location. Instead, it looks like a random image pulled from the cloud to match the location.
Each screen of the public toilet shows the average score of the toilet based on parameters like ‘Hygiene’, ‘Infrastructure’, ‘Safety’, ‘Seat Type’, and ‘if the toilet is paid’ or free. You also get the fields that will inform if the toilet is ‘disabled friendly’, has ‘Sanitary Pad Disposal’. Other details include ‘Opening Hours’, Seats available including directions and a button to provide feedback about that particular toilet.
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