HYDERABAD: Imagine walking into a public loo and being paid for using it, instead of the other way round. It could soon be true if the efforts of a few like-minded NGOs to rid Hyderabad’s roadside pavements of the infamous stench they emanate, materialise.
The Centre for Water and Sanitation (CWS), a city-based NGO associated with sanitation and safe drinking water projects, is planning to put forward a proposal to the GHMC to set up eco-urinal systems, across the city, which will help convert urine into its useful form, urea. “In urban areas, there is an increased need for more urinals than toilets since people are always on the move and periodically seek to relieve themselves.
And since urine contains urea, a rich natural fertilizer, why not just extract it?” asks M Subbu Raman of the Society for Conservation and Protection of Environment (SCOPE), a Trichybased organisation which has been approached by the CWS for technical assistance regarding the same. The idea behind the process is simple: collect urine and transport it to a factory where it can be converted into nitrogen-rich urea fertilizer.
“But since urea is difficult to implement in farmlands, we have devised means to convert it into its powder form called struvite, within a day of extraction itself.
This will provide for better implementation and transportation of the fertilizer,” explained Subbu Raman, who has implemented a similar pilot project near Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu.
For each round of urine, a person will be paid 10 paise as per the current plan and to help redeem the amount in sums of integer figures, cards will be issued for the same. The entire system can be built for an amount as low as `25,000.
KS Raju of CWS said that a project of this kind would be apt for Hyderabad and once the feasibility studies are completed, they would approach the GHMC for assistance in setting up the same.
SCOPE had conducted a presentation for CWS last week in the city, as per the technical discussions being currently held.
Status & future plans
Currently, the GHMC operates 228 public toilets under engineering and buildoperate- transfer (BOT) format and collects `1 for urinal and `2 for lavatory and bath. Around 50 of these toilets are not in usable condition.
Sulabh, a private organisation, manages an additional 50 toilets in which no fee is levied for urinal. The GHMC has proposed building another 150 new toilets under the BOT scheme. The South Zone of the city covering areas such as Moosarambagh, Saidabad, Moghalpura, Puranapal, Falaknuma, Begum Bazaar, Shali Banda and Rajendra is expected to get the lion’s share of the new toilets (56 toilets), while the East Zone covering Uppal, LB Nagar and Kapra will have the least (11).