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HC for mobile app to locate public toilets in Delhi

PTI | New Delhi |

Delhiiites can soon hope to take the help of an application on their smartphones to locate a washroom in the city to attend urgent call of nature.

The Delhi High Court, which found it difficult to ascertain the location of public toilets in the city on perusing the response of civic bodies, directed the municipal bodies to carry out mapping and geo-tagging of public toilets to make them more accessible for citizens.

If the direction is implemented in letter and spirit, soon Delhiiites can use their smart phones to locate public toilets as the information would be digitised and made available on online maps or mobile applications.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar perused the affidavits of tri-furcated Municipal Corporation of Delhi and could not ascertain where such washrooms exist.

“It is therefore directed as follows. Let the Municipal Corporations place before us a mapping of these public toilets.

“All agencies shall explore and examine the possibility as well as the feasibility of mapping the locations of these public toilets by way of geo-tagging and making the same available, by an appropriate application, to all mobile users or otherwise on the Internet to facilitate accessibility of all information regarding location of public toilets,” it said.

It said that a report on the steps taken on this aspect be filed before it by October 30, the next date of hearing.

The court said the North Delhi Municipal Corporation will be the nodal agency of exploring the possibility of geo- tagging.

It said all the other agencies shall furnish requisite information regarding location of their public toilet facilities to the Commissioner of North Delhi Municipal Corporation or its Director of the Delhi Environment Management Services (DEMS).

The bench also directed the municipal bodies to take steps to ensure that adequate number of public toilets are available in crowded places, especially in commercial markets.

The direction by the high court came while hearing a PIL seeking toilet facilities for slum dwellers of Shahbad dairy area in outer Delhi.

On an earlier date of hearing in the matter, the high court had asked the municipal bodies whether sweepers and on- duty traffic cops have access to toilet facilities.