Mangaluru: As the saying goes, ” When you got to go, You got to go!”, but presently in a fast growing City like Mangaluru, when you got to go, there is hardly any clean and decent toilet to go. Not any more, because the Education-Hub-Mangalore will soon be seeing portable toilets, with slot machines, for a small fee, giving you access to plush loos, if the Mangalore City Corporation’s (MCC) plans are “really…really” realized. Users have to have insert coin/coins in the slot before entering the toilet. The toilet will be fully automated and will flush automatically before and after use. These toilets planned by MCC and yet to be materialized will provide access to ultra-clean, environment-friendly toilets.
According to sources from MCC, a team of officials from MCC had recently visited Chennai and have come back to prepare a plan to introduce the pay-and-use toilets in the city called “Namma Toilet”. It is learnt that the first “Namma Toilet” was built at Tambaram Bus Station-Chennai in February 2013, and it received good response from the public due to its unique ventilation, proper water supply and lighting. Satisfied with how these toilets work, MCC officials have now initially decided to have these high-tech e-toilets set up near to bus stands, auto-rickshaw stands and near huge movement of people in the city limits.
These portable toilets aim at redefining the urban public sanitation landscape by providing quality sanitation. A 8×120 sq plot is all the space needed to install one. Variants use existing sewage lines, septic tanks or bio-digester technology. The flushed water can be treated. The electronic public toilet has automated its operations from entry to sewage treatment and operates on a sensor-based technology, providing convenient, affordable, hygienically maintained, and eco-friendly sanitation facilities to the common man.
The cost to built one “Namma Toilet” comprising of Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) and metal is around Rs 15 lakh- and if the plan is approved the City would be seeing these trendy and high-tech toilets soon at 52 places in the city. In the meantime, it is learnt that MCC is looking for corporate sponsors to fund the project or implement through build-operate-own-transfer mode.These toilets will also control wastage of water, because only required water will be automatically flushed out when the user is done using the toilet. Another safety feature is that the door is fitted with an automatic lock which will allow only one user at a time to enter the toilet. And also, if anyone tries to break the automatic lock, a alarm will go off alerting the concerned authorities. It is learnt that such toilets are in use in Maharashtra, Kerala, Bangalore, Delhi and Nagpur.
Some of the places where the “Namma Toilet” will be built (out of the 52 locations planned) by MCC are- near State Bank Bus terminus, Lady Goschen Hospital, Urwa store, Kankanady Pumpwell, Padil Junction, Lady Hill, Sulthan Battery, Kottara Chowki, KSRTC Bus Terminus-Bejai, Nanthoor, Suratkal, Baikampady, Panambur, and others. MCC is also deciding to build community toilets in residential areas. All this comes in the wake of ‘Swachh Bharat campaign by PM Narendra Modi to eliminate open defecation by year 2019.
But it is nice to note that having battling garbage and having ruthlessly been humiliated in many quarters, the MCC seems to now shift its focus on sanitation. With technology not been able to change the mindset of people towards garbage segregation, there is hope that tech can change the toilet experience for the public.
With ‘Namma Toilet’, the concept incorporates full cycle approach in sustainable sanitation by integrating convergence of electronics, mechanical, web-mobile technologies, thereby controlling entry, usage, cleaning, exit, and remote monitoring capabilities with multiple revenue options.
The insertion of a coin opens the door of the Namma Toilet for the user, switches on a light – thus saving energy – and even directs the person with audio commands. The toilets are programmed to flush 1.5 liters of water after 3 minutes of usage or 4.5 liters if usage is longer. It can also be programmed to clean the platform with a complete wash down after every five or ten persons use the toilet.
These are the functions of Namma Toilets : Appealing aesthetics; Unmanned operation; Automated access control; Automated cleaning mechanism; Remote diagnosis and remote management; Customer support facility; Online mapping; Waste processing through STP; Portable Design; Durable; Easy to Clean. Key Features are : Innovative design to fit busy Indian towns and cities; State-of-the-art technology to address public sanitation challenges; Modular, sleek and appealing aesthetics; Mild steel/ stainless steel built; Compact and user-Friendly access and interfaces ; and Hygienic and easy to maintain components.
In conclusion, we all know how things work with MCC, we will have to believe their plans/projects only when we see it, until then we will have to keep our fingers crossed. Also that with shortage of coins/ and people not accustomed of carrying change in their pockets, will these toilets succeed in business need to be discussed before implementing the idea. As the saying goes “old habits die hard”, presently men who are accustomed peeing in the open air, do you think they will spend few coins to use this new facility-I very much doubt about it, unless the city comes up with a law to fine heavily those who pee/defecate in public. So until this “Namma Toilet” plan by MCC becomes a reality, “When You Got to Go”, you will still have to use those stinky and filthy ‘Sulabh Sauchalaya’ toilets. Is there any other option, please?