E-toilets will be first 'smart' facility in Hubballi

E-toilets will be first 'smart' facility in Hubballi

E-toilets set up by the HDSCL, near Indira Glass House entrance in Hubballi. DH PHOTO

'Smart City' project, which has come under criticism for the delay in starting the implementation of works, is slowly moving ahead in completing the tender process for several works, and 'e-toilets' would be the first major facility to be operational under this project shortly.

Lack of community toilets and lack of cleanliness in existing ones has been a long-pending issue in the twin cities, in addition to damaged roads and garbage. People finding it difficult to attend nature's call and urinating at public places are also a common scene, while 'Smart City' is also being blamed for still in the tender stage of various works even after around two years of the project announcement. As a solution for 'toilet problem', both Hubballi-Dharwad Smart City Limited (HDSCL) and Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC) came up with the idea of e-toilets, and now they have installed 27 e-toilets across the twin cities, which are likely to be ready by next week.

Under 'Smart City' project, two e-toilets, each at Anand Nagar Road, Gookul Road opposite KEC, Swimming Pool complex, Glass House Park entrance, near Basel Mission School on Karwar Road, and Nehru Stadium, one for male and another for female, are ready. HDMC's Chitaguppi Park has an additional e-toilet for disabled persons.

"We have conducted the public trial, and all installation process of 15 smart toilets would be completed by Monday. We will keep the fee Rs 2 initially, and then it would be increased to Rs five. Eram Scientific, which has installed e-toilets, would maintain them for one year," says, HDSCLC special officer S H Naregal, adding that it would be the first facility to be opened for the public under the 'Smart City' project.

Rs 3.5 lakh is spent on each e-toilet, and Rs one lakh for installation. It requires continuous water and electricity supply, and connection with the underground drainage network, he added.

If the green light is on, insert the coin, the door will get opened, commode will be flushed, lights will switch on, sirens would be there at regular intervals, and flush would be again after using the toilet is completed, explains.

HDMC works

Meanwhile, the HDMC has started the process of installing 'e-toilets' much before the 'Smart City', but it was delayed due to dispute about the land, UGD and water connectivity. Some e-toilets are installed two months back but are not yet functional.

Now, the HDMC has installed 12 e-toilets at a cost of Rs 6.40 lakh each, at Indi Pump Circle, Unkal Lake park, Mantur Road, and two more places in Dharwad also. HDMC officials are also finalising the land to install three more 2-toilets. 

"We have conducted the demonstration at a few places, and we will keep Rs 2 as the charge. The contractor will operate and maintain e-toilets for one year. Inauguration of e-toilets can be expected next week. These automatic, sensor-based toilets need not any security guard," says HDMC executive engineer (SWM) Girish Talawar.

Smart tenders

Meanwhile, tenders for two major works of 'Smart City' project were opened. Out of five bidders who took part in the tender to develop Tolanakere (tank) at a cost of Rs 18 crore, three bidders were found eligible. Three bidders were there for integrated command and control centre (Rs 39.57 crore) work, and one bid was rejected.

A vendor has shown interest to install smart poles (Rs 48.04 crore) and negotiation is on, while the tender process for multi-level car parking project (Rs 50 crore) would also be completed within a couple of months, HDSCL office would be shifted to new premises developed at a cost of Rs 33 lakh very shortly. Rainwater harvesting works in and around HDMC central office premises at a cost of Rs 2.4 crore would also begin shortly. Cleaning and de-silting of the Nala from Unkal Lake have begun. After completing the survey and approving the design, Nala development work would be taken up after the rainy season, S H Naregal added.

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