Skip to main content
TitlePublic toilets in urban India : doing business differently
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsColin, J, Nijssen, S
Secondary TitleField note / WSP
Pagination9 p. : 4 boxes, 2 tab.
Date Published2007-12-01
PublisherWater and Sanitation Program - South Asia
Place PublishedNew Delhi, India
Keywordscommunity blocks, india, private sector, public toilets, sdiasi, sdiman, urban areas

In India, over one-fourth of urban households lack a private toilet and there is an evident lack of hygienic facilities in public places. Communal facilities are essential, not simply as a convenience to travellers and shoppers, but as the only possible means of providing access to sanitation in crowded slums, characterized by small plots and little open space.
Historically, municipalities are the main providers of public toilets, but these facilities suffer from poor maintenance and cleanliness and are largely avoided by the public.
Today, pay-and-use public toilets have become well established across India, most of them funded by municipalities, mostly operated by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) or small contractors. These are often better maintained than standard municipal toilets and are consequently more popular with the public.
While NGO- and Community-Based Organization (CBO)-run toilet complexes are now quite common, much less has been done to attract private sector investment. Recently, however, the city of Delhi witnesses a new initiative, involving private entrepreneurs via Build, Operate, and Transfer (BOT) contracts. Some 60 public toilet blocks have been developed, and a novel feature of the contracts is that the operators are allowed to use the external walls of the premises as advertising space. This enables them to generate substantial revenues.
This field note looks at both the achievements and challenges in the use of BOT contracts for public toilets in Delhi, and draws out some important lessons for meeting the sanitation needs of the city as a whole.

Custom 1822, 302.2



The copyright of the documents on this site remains with the original publishers. The documents may therefore not be redistributed commercially without the permission of the original publishers.

Back to
the top