PUNE: On the occasion of World Toilet Day on Monday, the Toilet Board Coalition (TBC), a global, business-led partnership for digital solutions for sanitation, reiterated its commitment to deploy technologies to re-think sanitation services in cities.
Cheryl Hicks, Executive Director and CEO, TBC, said a road map to improve sanitisation has been prepared with Pune Smart City as its first city with pilot projects and digital sanitation.
“We are looking at tackling the sanitation problems with ‘smart toilets’, ‘smart treatment’ and ‘smart health’, she said at a press conference here on the sidelines of the three-day Global Sanitation Economic Summit which began today.
“We have worked with Pune Smart City in 2017 and after two years, we are here to check how far has the digitisation worked in the very first project. Investment is needed if one wants to plan for the long run. Although the government is working with urban local bodies, there are limitations; hence now is the time to create a self-sufficient model,” said Hicks.
Along with Hicks, Erin McCusker, chairperson of TBC (Global) and Divyang Waghela, head of Water Mission, Tata Trust and TBC (India Chair) shared their views on sanitation.
The speakers said that digital technologies and data were opening up new ways to re-think sanitation services in cities, where upon Smart Sanitation Cities had the potential to unleash innovation, economic growth and development with speed and scale.
“Mapping and monitoring toilet treatments and health via smart city control centres creates new sanitation intelligence,” said Hicks.
According to the TBC, the sanitation economy in India is a $14 billion market which is expected to double to an estimated US $62 billion by 2021. The increased toilet construction, operations and maintenance including cleaning was successfully providing universal access to sanitation in the country. There is emergence of new markets for treated water, renewable energy, organic compost, proteins and nutrients as well, the TBC said.
“We find India an inspiring place to be working for in sanitation. Things are moving fast, and the government is very supportive of new business models in this space,” said Hicks.
The goal is to help identify new opportunities to drive value out of a system that has been mostly cost to support the businesses that are developing these new models, she said.
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