Mobile app to lodge sanitation woes in Delhi slums

Seetha Gopalakrishnan
Monday, July 11, 2016 - 09:37
Delhi slum residents to go high tech with their sanitation complaints
Slum dwellers in the national capital will soon be able to lodge complaints related to community toilets using a mobile app. The Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board plans to launch a mobile application to redress the grievances relating to dirty and malfunctioning toilets in city slums. The app has been kept simple. The colour-coded app will record information relating to the condition of the toilets--red to denote the latrine’s poor condition while yellow and green represent good and excellent maintenance respectively. The app is currently being used on a trial basis for internal monitoring. 
Poor show by BMC in executing toilet plan
Out of the 7,000 odd applications received by the Greater Mumbai Corporation to construct individual household toilets, only 2008 have been approved and the construction of just 62 units completed so far. Last year, keeping with the overarching goals of the Swachh Bharat Mission, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation embarked on an ambitious journey to construct 5000 individual household latrines by the end of March 2017. The officials note that many applications have been rejected due to the absence of functional sewer lines around interested households.
Prejudices and inhibitions keep people away from toilets in rural India
Despite having access to toilets, many people across rural India prefer to not use them. A host of ‘cultural’ reasons--ranging from personal to traditional--prevent people from using latrines. While constructing toilets remained the core component of most sanitation schemes for long, achieving behaviour change is soon gaining importance in the sanitation discourse in the country. The ministry of drinking water and sanitation recently initiated virtual classrooms for training volunteers in a bid to create an army of local ‘champions’ to advocate good sanitation and hygiene practices. 
Converting solid waste into biogas and manure efficiently
Scientists at the Hyderabad-based CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) have come up with a new method to help convert solid waste into biogas and manure more efficiently. The new Anaerobic Gas-lift Reactor has been modified to ensure increased biogas production suited to Indian conditions. While the method has been patented by IICT, technology has been transferred to Ahuja Engineering Services which will execute the projects on a turnkey basis.
Bureaucrats compete to construct toilets in Karnataka
The MGNREGA and Swachh Bharat Missions have managed to capture the attention of both the civil society and its servants alike. Bureaucrats have been promoting these two schemes in a big way, with the latter getting much more attention, thanks to the PM’s personal interest in it. From state ministers and civil servants to panchayat members and chairpersons, leaders across the Congress-ruled Karnataka are showing active interest in constructing toilets under the Swachh Bharat Mission. 
This is a roundup of important sanitation related news published between July 2 and 8, 2016