Google Maps app to help find toilets near you (Lead, fixing headline)
New Delhi, Dec 22 (IANS) Taking a step towards making India cleaner, Minister of Urban Development (MoUD) M. Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday launched a Google Map toilet locator to help people find access to clean public restrooms.
The app, designed by Google, will make information available through a mobile application about thousands of public toilets throughout two locations now — Delhi NCR and Madhya Pradesh.
Naidu at the launch said that 504 cities and towns, which also include four million-plus cities, have achieved the status of being free of open defecation, and a total of 739 cities and towns have committed themselves to achieve the status by March next year.
He said that Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Sikkim have declared all cities and towns Open Defecation Free (ODF), while Kerala is set to become ODF by March 2018.
The app will have listings covering Delhi NCR, including Ghaziabad, Gurugram, Noida and Faridabad, and Bhopal and Indore in Madhya Pradesh. Toilets can be located not just through the app, but on the desktop as well.
Google, the technology and software giant, which built the app working in tandem with the Urban Development Ministry, will work closely with the ministry to keep adding to the maps the data location regarding address and opening hours of over 4,000 communal and public restrooms.
“When you search for ‘public toilet’ on Google Maps in an area where the service is available, you’ll see a list of restrooms near you, including the respective address and opening hours,” Sanket Gupta, Product Manager, Google Maps, said in a statement.
“For instance, if you’re travelling on the National Highway 8 in Gurugram, locating a public toilet can be challenging and most often the only option is going to nearby restaurants and cafes. Having this information handy can make things much easier,” he added.
This service will be accessible to users both in English and Hindi language.