Urban Management Centre (UMC) conducted a detailed technical audit of more than 1600 public conveniences in Ahmedabad. The main objectives of the technical audit exercise were to assess the conditions of the public conveniences, identify issues and provide recommendations to the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation to make improvements.
The Government of India launched its National Urban Sanitation Policy in November 2008 with a goal of making India “community-driven, total sanitized, healthy and loveable cities and towns”. The policy advocates that all cities should become open defecation free, all human wastes and liquid wastes should be collected and safely treated and adequate resources should be available for the operation and maintenance of the sanitation facilities.
Ahmedabad ranked 19th among 423 cities in the national sanitation ranking exercise conducted by Ministry of Urban Development in 2009. A deeper analysis into the scoring revealed that Ahmedabad score poorly in sanitation sector – provision of public conveniences in the city. Despite high number of facilities, the condition of public conveniences is poor and most toilets are not usable. Out of 1.73 lakh slum households, 33% do not have access to individual toilets.
UMC’s audit teams included one male and one female member each, including architects, urban planners, civil engineers and women members from an Ahmedabad based NGO- Mahila Housing Trust. Each facility was scored on its building condition, its accessibility, cleanliness, design and infrastructure and user feedback. UMC also did a detailed analysis on the operation and maintenance framework of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation for these facilities.
All facilities have been mapped on GIS platform and detailed photographic documentation also has been conducted. UMC has submitted a list of facilities which immediately require inputs from the engineering departments and ones that require improved maintenance. Such ward wise and zone-wise profiles have been provided to each zonal and ward officials. Detailed recommendations have been submitted to the AMC and these range from design inputs, contracts management and financing for operations and maintenance, locating the facilities etc.