Google is said to be working with India’s Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) to solve the country’s infamous toilet problem. According to Public Radio International, 60 percent of the 1.2 billion people in the nation still defecate and urinate in the open, leading to serious sanitation issues. Google and MoUD aim to tackle that dilemma by giving people the power to search for toilets within Maps by typing relevant words in English or in their native language, like “toilet,” “lavatory,” “swachhata” and “shulabh.”

This toilet serach or toilet locator facility, which will be available on Google Maps, will be first launched on pilot basis in National Capital Region (NCR) starting some time within the next 15 days — from November 16 to November 30 — which the MoUD is celebrating as Swachhata Pakhwada, or Cleanliness Fortnight.

Google Maps will then show available toilets in the same way it shows hotels, restaurants and other establishments.

An MoUD official told International Business Times that the facility would be available on Google Maps, and people will be able to search for toilets around them from the app itself. He also said the process for these toilets being listed for the NCR was almost over, and so the toilets for that region would be available on Google Maps within the fortnight.

Moreover, with this toilet locator facility users can also leave a review or feedback for the visited lavatory/toilet, and if the toilet appears to be badly maintained or closed, the reviews would help others.

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The MoUD official also told that mechanisms are in place for the facility to be scaled up, and for it to reach all the 2,041 urban local bodies (ULBs) of the country.


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