Public Toilets

Toilets are a basic necessity but often taken for granted by those who have regular access. Poor public and community toilet services are one of the most visible symptoms of inadequate urban sanitation services in India. The pace of developing housing and transit facilities has not been matched by toilet amenities.

According to official figures, 6% of urban households do not have toilets at home but depend on public facilities and community toilets. Yet, nearly 13% of urban households do not have access to any latrine (at home or public) and need to resort to defecate in the open. These critical conditions impose significant public health and environmental cost, threatening the long-term growth trajectory of India's urban centres that currently contribute 60% to the national GDP, equivalent to US$ 50 billion.

Under the IndoGerman cooperation GIZ sanitation project SNUSP II supports MoUD in achieving the goals of NUSP and Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). One of the SBM target for public toilets is management of these facilities and improvement of its services. The project supports different cities in sustained management of public toilet facilities. Learning and experiences from the ground are being shared with stakeholders at national and state level for upscaling the replicable proven models and enhance the capacities of the cities in the sustained management of public sanitation facilities.

Public Toilet Management: Challenges and Process

Most often, sanitation models fail in their operations and management after a couple of years due to inadequacies in the planning, financing, operations and/or management of public toilets.  In response to the challenges, GIZ and its partners reviewed the public toilet management in two cities (Tirupati and Shimla) and jointly with the municipality and other stakeholders’ devised and started to implement strategies that bring about lasting improvements. New management models, technologies and cross cutting approaches have been tested.

To guide cities and other stakeholders toward improved public toilet management and ensure replication across cities, GIZ has documented the Public Toilet Management (PTM) process, highlighting important focus areas, main steps, tools as well as key learnings from the Tirupati and Shimla.


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