With a view to upgrade the capital for the upcoming Commonwealth Games in 2010, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) plans to bring 1,000 world class utilities-cum-food courts on build, own, operate, transfer (BOOT) basis. These high end washrooms, which come in small, medium and large formats, will be evenly divided between four zones in Delhi. The area for each format will vary. Developers and corporate houses will be invited for the tender bid process, which will begin within two months.
The cost of constructing each high end utility will be Rs 1 crore. MCD will pocket a minimum reserve price of approximately Rs 400 crore per annum from all 1,000 utilities in the four zones.
Discussing the objective behind the move, Amiya Chandra, additional deputy commissioner and head, advertisements and remuneration project cell, MCD, tells afaqs!, "Round the clock toilets are the need of the hour.
Though we have got some of these in Delhi, they are not well maintained. Also, the ad space available on these toilets is not attractive to the advertiser's eye. Besides, security is one of the major challenges here, especially for women. Considering all these factors, we realised that there is a need to transform the toilets into a state of the art space that is well maintained, conducive to advertiser's interests and secure."
Ad space will be available both inside and outside the utilities. Large format utilities will have a food court on the rooftop, bringing in the crowd and ensuring security. Apart from world class toilet fittings, the toilets will have nappy changing areas and condom vending machines. An independent agency will be roped in to conduct weekly inspections once a utility is operational.
The whole idea of having a food court above a toilet may sound unattractive to many. By giving the example of Select City Wall, a shopping mall in Saket (Delhi), Chandra explains how nowadays, the biggest toilets are located close to the food courts. It's more about the masses who perceive a public toilet as an unhygienic place. "The concept of such high-end toilets is not present anywhere else in the world and is sure to change the way people feel about public utilities," he adds.
Chandra says that toilets as a strategic site for ads has loads of untapped potential as it is used by men, women and children of all age groups. He reveals that some big brands have shown interest in getting associated with the project once the toilets are ready.