Eco loos to provide relief in rural G'barga

There’s relief in the pipeline for the residents of Gulbarga’s villages. For, their embarrassment of answering the call of nature in the open may soon be flushed down the eco-sanitation dry compost toilets, designed by native technocrat Sharan Desai.
The State government, in its effort to provide decent sanitation in rural areas, has also agreed in principle to adopt Desai’s “designer loos”, and begin construction of such individual toilets in the remote parts of Karnataka, beginning with the Gulbarga district.
The new toilet model, consuming less or little water, is designed to produce compost and is also said to be cost-effective and user-friendly with its maintenance involving simple techniques.

Desai, a software engineer with a mutinational company in Bangalore, has already made a  name by his unique ‘bottling art’, and hit the headlines recently when he presented Sachin Tendulkar the cricketer’s portrait placed inside a bottle with a narrow opening.
The Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department (RDPR) has roped in IT giant Infosys Technologies for constructing 10,000 toilets in rural Gulbarga where toilets are almost non-existent.

A memorandum of understanding has been signed between the RDPR and Infosys in this regard. RDPR Minister Jagadish Shettar also made a specific reference to the eco-toilet designed by Desai and asked the department to go ahead with the construction of such toilets.

Two eco-toilets, also known as organic toilets, were constructed early this month for the government school students at Savalagi (B) village in Gulbarga taluk, sponsored by Infosys and BJP MLC Shashil Namoshi. Each toilet cost Rs16,000.

“The cost of the toilet can be reduced considerably when they are built on a largescale by making use of the locally available raw materials. The cost could be brought down to Rs 12,000,’’ says Desai, who has been made a consultant for the State government’s Total Sanitation Campaign.

Sharan Desai, son of former Afzalpur MLA, the late Hanumant Rao Desai, said his objective was to educate and provide information to village communities to take the responsibility for improving sanitary conditions and maintaining a clean and green environment in their areas. He has persuaded the people of Donnur village in his home district, who have agreed to take the responsibility of maintaining the toilets in their village.

The new design is a self-contained unit that produces good compost and protects soil and water from contamination. The conventional sewage treatment invariably leaves a dangerous sludge, which needs further treatment. The compost toilet provides a large opening and a vent pipe that helps in maximising ventilation and with wind blowing across the top, it creates a strong circulation of air through the toilet superstructure, down through the squat hole across the pit.  Odour from the pit contents are thus sucked up and exhausted through the opening and vent pipe.

Jagadish Shettar has asked the authorities and Infosys to launch the toilet construction on Gandhi Jayanti, October 2.

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