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31 Dec, 2014 18:15

It’s the toilet police! India to track WC usage with tablets in real time

It’s the toilet police! India to track WC usage with tablets in real time

An Indian team of "sanitary inspectors" will be checking the use of toilets "online." Armed with mobile devices, experts will be going door-to-door to make sure locals, many of whom prefer streets, use civilized toilets as required.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is spearheading program, will see it swing into action next month, with electronic-device-wielding officials uploading the results of the inspection as it happens.

“Earlier, the monitoring was done only about the construction of toilets, but now the actual use of toilets will be ascertained,” the government said in a statement on Wednesday.

Since October, the government has supplied more than 500,000 toilets to the general population.

However, many people have decided to use them as storerooms rather than bathrooms because they believe it is more sanitary to go to the toilet far away from the house, in the open, rather than in it. UNICEF estimates that nearly 594 million people (about half the Indian population) do this.

This has created public health problems and poor sanitation, both of which Modi has pledged to tackle. In August he stated an aim for every household to have a toilet by 2019.

“Sanitation is a mindset issue. (The aim is to) create demand by triggering behavior change,”
the government statement said.

Lack of proper toilets costs India some $54 billion every year because of the health impact of poor sanitation.