The city of Tirupati is a religious and tourist hub with a floating population of up to 100,000 persons per day. Providing good public toilet services is one of the most important interventions on the city's sanitation improvement agenda. Traditional models for public toilets systems were found to have a low degree of success and high probability of becoming defunct due to various reasons. Services were rendered by multiple public and private institutions (Tirupati Temple Trust, Railways, Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation). In many cases, the source of funding decided the responsibility for planning, construction and maintenance. The mandate for public sanitation facilities (toilets) rests with the City. While the overall asset is owned by the city, its construction and O&M is taken up with by the city or the operators, depending on the nature of the contract. Support services such as water supply, sewerage and solid waste management are provided by the City and electricity by the Electricity Agency (public or private). Services were often not planned in a demand-oriented manner and/or lacked the monitoring along transparent performance indicators. In general, TMC officials lacked the capacities to effectively plan, manage and monitor the involvement of private operators in the public toilet management.
As part of the implementation of Tirupati's City Sanitation Plan, the SNUSPII Project supports TMC to improve public toilet management. The objective of the intervention is to develop an improved citywide public toilet management model that is financially sustainable and ensures good services for all users. It will be carried out in a phased manner and will upscale workable models across the state through the State Sanitation Strategy of Andhra Pradesh.
Activities undertaken under the respective PTM Process Steps
GIZ through its partners supported the city of Tirupati in how to establish and ensure an efficient Public Toilet Management process that focuses on demand orientation, gender, service delivery, monitoring and contract management. The initial interventions on two public toilets (connected to sewer system) in Tirupati are benefitting about 1,200 people per day and has led to the safe discharge of 5.4 MLY (million litres per year) of wastewater through the city's sewerage system from public toilets alone, having a considerable positive human and environmental impact. Key interventions and results along the PTM process have been:
Process Step 1: Supply and Demand Assessment:
A study with a methodical mix of desk review and on-field activities was undertaken. The team reviewed existing literature on current technical and management PT models, and conducted demand and supply surveys. This included an inventory analysis of 38 toilets and user perception survey of 500 commercial establishments, 250 tourists and 250 general population. Relevant data for future data-based planning and monitoring was compiled and spatial mapping helped provide a snapshot of the status of current systems, institutional delivery mechanisms and user requirements. By using the online inventory tool, this can be easily analysed, interpreted and used for designing effective business models for public toilets.
Data Management - Online Inventory:
Tirupati developed an online public toilets inventory (www.tgiz.akara.co.in) that can is used for monitoring of toilet maintenance and for future planning. It provides for a snapshot of existing services rendered by the city and is a one-stop shop for information regarding the toilets’ condition. While planning for future demand, the online inventory was used to locate toilets and prioritize their implementation (around 25 toilets are to be constructed by 2017). Moreover, using the online inventory or mobile application, users can locate nearby public toilets and file complaints or report operator defaults, thereby contribute to the monitoring of the PT infrastructure, service provision and operator compliance. Responsibilities and a structure within the municipality to support the monitoring of PT are currently being defined.
Process Step 2: Planning and Strategy
Public Toilet Task Force:
All CSTF members have been divided into smaller working groups that regularly meet and discuss specific topics. CSTF members (local councillors) have been actively involved in mapping of slums and open defecation areas in the city. Moreover, the media has been involved to generate awareness on PT and highlight the importance and relevance of sanitation facilities on health and the environment.
Decision Making Framework:
The city finalized the technical designs for the 5 public toilets projects.
Business Model Selection:
The city leveraged different sources of funding: general funds, HUDCO schemes for the shelterless, public sanitation component under RAY, etc. for PT infrastructure improvements especially in slum / low income areas. (2) The private sector (large providers such as Sulabh, and small contractors) met part of the PT capital expenditure. BOT models were structured to allow cost recovery through user fees concession period. (3) The local body provided subsidy, management and land provision for 2 public toilets for pilgrims.
To enhance and streamline the sources of funding for public toilets, the municipality of Tirupati (TMC) had to (1) assess funding opportunities within TMC, allocate a dedicated annual budget for PTM and apportion a predefined percentage for PT expenditure from indirect sources (i.e. tourist tax, scavenging tax, collection charges); (2) build capacities of institutions and raise awareness to better utilize government funding and donations; (3) encourage and streamline private sector participation in the scaling-up of public toilet programmes by resolving inconsistencies in contracts management and unfavourable market incentives (i.e. facilitate land acquisition, project structuring that allows risk sharing, ease O&M challenges through performance related subsidies, assess advertising potential and user charges). Moreover, the city conducted a sensitivity analysis to assess how different financial support scenarios from TMC affect the profit margin of the operator.
Detailed Project Report (DPR) and Action Plan:
In line with the overall sanitation action plan, a model framework for Detailed Project Reports (DPR) including design, implementation and maintenance was developed. DPRs including site assessment, draft technical designs, cost estimates and financial operating plans for 5 selected locations were prepared. The framework can be used by other cities to guide their DPR preparation.
Process Step 3: Implementation
Contracts Agreements and Procurement:
The increased use of BOT contracts did not bring about improved service deliver. Some of the critical challenges that Tirupati faced in the asset management of public toilets could be traced back to gaps and inconsistencies in the contracts award and structuring process (i.e. no standardized contract agreements, no design specifications/service standards, no cross-subsidization requirement, inconsistent and too long concession periods, no penalties and lack of clarity on r land transfer/acquisition and clearances). To put an end to monopolies, unfair competition, poor service provision/depilated facilities and sub-optimal return for municipality, GIZ assisted TMC to develop effective model contract/tender documents (RFP, RFQ, concession agreement).
Various monitoring options have been evaluated to address the risks considering the institutional strengths of MCT. Integrating clear service provision indicators for different business models in the contract and tender templates will enable TMC to effectively monitor and enforce the contracts. The online inventory tool is used to monitor the PT toilet management (track status, plan and take corrective actions).
Process Step 4: Monitoring
As part of the monitoring framework, TMC developed a Quarterly Reporting Template to be submitted by the operator to TMC every 3 months, providing information on: (1) number of users/day - male and female users, type of usage); (2) User fee collected for each user/usage type and advertisement revenue; (3) Water consumed, water supplied by TMC and quantity required for next 3 months; (4) report on performance standard (achievement) for each toilet and copy of inspection cards; (5) Repair or maintenance work carried per toilet and respective cost incurred; (6) Manpower deployed, number of shifts and gender breakdown; (7) update asset inventory with all repairs and replacements; (8) Number of complaints/suggestions received, type and resolution; (9) Other as by TMC.
Process Step 5: Sustainability & Integration
The city institutional structures are weakened by diffused accountability internally between different Departments. The construction work is managed by Engineering Department, contracting by Revenue Dept. and O&M by the Sanitation Dept. Given the dispersed management functions, inadequate coordination, limited capacities in structuring of projects, absence of monitoring and enforcement mechanisms are the key issues rendering cities (for ex. Tirupati Corporation) not able to successfully manage PT projects. To plug these gaps and ensure seamless service delivery, the state must confer full and final responsibility for citywide sanitation to TMC (devolve power, functions, functionaries and funds). TMC has been recommended to use and apply the PTM strategies and tools. TMC, together with GIZ, used the DPRs to develop training modules and operational and maintenance guidelines to strengthen the capacities of various stakeholders towards sustained PTM. The guidelines and capacity building will supplement measures already taken by the Government of Andhra Pradesh and the TMC towards a more systematic and demand-based design and management of public sanitation facilities. The interventions, results and learnings have led TMC to dedicate financial resources and to create a separate budget head for public toilets for the Financial Year 2014-15.
The city identified 5 projects for gender-sensitive public toilets. Each project considers gender aspects across the complete PTM process – right from the planning stage, while organizing user satisfaction and demand surveys (sampling size specifically included women to capture their perceptions). The identified service quality requirements that emerged have been integrated in the toilet design and O&M (norms, performance standards, etc.). To ensure operators meet these service expectations, Tirupati included a service charter for toilet maintenance in the contract (e.g. engagement of women in service provision) and monitors compliance through the appropriately designed monitoring framework (e.g. gender-specific user satisfaction surveys).