The one problem in India, which has been existing since ages and the one to which there seems to be no solution is one of open defecation. Although we have many public toilets in the country, their locations are not very well-known. If you’re travelling, you simply go to the nearest mall/petrol pump to use the toilet facilities or find a generous shrub behind which you can squat. For a lot of Indians who live in the poorer regions and do not have access to toilets at home, public toilets are the only solution. Also, for the Indian on the go, getting access to a public toilet can lead to a hassle. Though in cities, there are still toilets in and around the popular areas, it becomes especially painful to hunt for a public toiler. Also, at times, if you’re in a region where people do not understand your language, then the problem is doubled. Also Read - Google Removes 22 Apps Engaging in Click Fraud From Play Store
There have been apps in the past that have attempted to create and map a network of public toilets in the country. However, these apps have not been too popular among the masses. Now, with Google stepping in, the new app might perhaps be the most comprehensive toilet locator app ever! According to latest reports, Google India has signed a deal with Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) in the country to create an app specially for helping people locate public toilets. While it is definitely a challenge with public toilets littered in the country, if Google can create an Indian map with all the crazy tiny lanes and by-lanes, it can definitely create an app tracking all the public toilets in the region! The app, which is all set to be launched soon, will consist of public toilets not only created by the government but even those located in malls, stations, etc.
Also, the app, which will be a GPS based app will function across all smartphones as it will be integrated in Google Maps. So even those with lower end devices can easily download it and use it. However, having a net pack or data connection will be mandatory as the app is location based, just like your Google Maps. Once you open Maps, you can simply put in any word related to a toilet, like lavatory, toilet, washroom, sauchalay, sulabh, etc and Google Map Toilet Locator will understand your need. It will then locate all the public toilets in the vicinity and help you locate one closest to you. Additionally, people will be able to review the toilet and give feedback so if the one you visit is particularly stinky and dirty, give it negative ratings and help others stay away. Quite a cool feature! Toilets will be given just as much importance as ATMs, Banks, Hospitals and other service buildings. Now, ‘Chhutta Nahi Hai’ app launched to help clear Indians confusion regarding the ban on Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes
The new feature in Google Maps app, which integrates the Toilet Locator App is all ready to be rolled out. The app is currently in the testing phase and it will initially be tested in the Northern part of India before being slowly rolled out to users all over the country in batches. The app feature will first be available to users in and around National Capital Region or Delhi NCR and once it is successfully updated and used by people in NCR, after feedback, it will come to other regions. Before the end of November, the app will be avbailable in NCR. The process to list the public toilets in the region is over though as the app is currently in Beta stage, there might be some changes made t it with there being more additions. The app will show toilets in metro stations or local stations, malls, petrol pumps, and hospitals for the time being apart from the stand-alone Sulabh Sauchalay created by the government in public areas.
Quite a cool feature and one that has been much needed for the country!