Locate Public Toilets On Google Maps: Govt Includes 45,000 Toilet Under The "Loo Review Campaign"
Has it ever happened when you are stuck in the middle of the traffic or exploring a new city, and you need to attend to nature’s call? You are left with either of the two choices – hunt through the lanes to find a public toilet or step inside a restaurant or a mall and access the washroom. However, now one doesn’t have to panic, as Google Maps is there to the rescue.
In a major boost to the Swach Bharat Abhiyan and Digital Indian campaign of the Union government, the Google Maps navigation application has now added over 45,000 community and public toilets as a part of the Government’s ‘Loo Review Campaign’.
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) had collaborated with Google to launch the ‘Loo Review’ campaign in September 2018 to encourage all local guides in India to rate and review public toilets on Google Maps.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman acknowledged the feature in her maiden Budget Speech on July 5 and mentioned that the toilet locator feature had witnessed a stellar growth in the use. She said that more than 45,000 public and community toilet across 1700 cities have been uploaded on Google maps, which covers more than 53% of India’s urban population. However, the government has not shared the data of the rural toilets exhibited on the app.
The feature is like any other feature that the Google maps provide. A user, instead of searching for petrol pumps/restaurants/malls, will directly search “toilet” on the app. The app will show the nearby public and community toilets, and user based on the reviews available can choose a toilet.
The feature makes sense in the country which is struggling to stop open defecation. In the budget speech, the Finance Minister further claimed that by October 2, 2019, the country will be open-defecation free. According to the 2012 census, it was found that 60% of Indian households had at least one mobile phone whereas only 36.4% of households had a toilet.