Public toilets are an important amenity for slum-dwellers, the homeless and those working in the informal sector – people who often do not have access to private sanitation, either at home, or at their workplace. They are also important for the general population, especially women. Despite this, there are only 714 public toilets in the city, a number that is hopelessly inadequate for a population of about 65 lakh. The Corporation of Chennai is responsible for public health, sanitation and conservancy services in the city, and either constructs and maintains public toilets or contracts out its work.
Our work on sanitation involves collecting data on the number and location of public toilets in the city. We also attempt to understand the roles and responsibilities of the various government officials, departments and boards in constructing, maintaining and operating a toilet. This gives us data on how public toilets are planned and sanctioned; and on whom to hold accountable when they stop working. Our work on public toilets in the city has been covered extensively by online sanitation portals and leading newspapers. We also look at the governance of underground sewerage networks, the means through which they are planned and built, and the means through which people access sanitation in the city.
Public Sanitation Management Models: Providing Toilets For The Urban Poor In Chennai (9501)
Chennai's Public Sanitation challenge (2101)
Urban sanitation in Tamil Nadu A Report on Public Conveniences (1818)
Public toilets in Chennai (1606)
Findings from Survey of Public Toilet Infrastructure and Services (1614)
Findings from Survey of Public Toilet Infrastructure and Services (Ward 120 and 121) (2494)
Poster on ratio of population to toilet seat (1144)