The tender has been released for construction of 32 community toilets as part of the urban slum sanitation initiative “Project Sammaan”.
The Sammaan facilities will double the number of community toilets serving Cuttack’s numerous slums, providing a much-needed resource that will improve the quality of life of its users while also making the communities more hygienic. The Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) is a partner on the project and has been integral in facilitating its implementation in the city.
Additionally, there will be 60 community sanitation facilities and 27 public toilet facilities built in Bhubaneswar. The tender for the public toilets was released in December and the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) is currently evaluating the technical qualifications of bidding contractors prior to awarding contracts. The release of the community toilet tender is expected in the coming weeks.
Project Sammaan (projectsammaan.com) is an urban sanitation initiative dedicated to redesigning and improving facilities for slum communities across India, beginning in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. The municipal corporations of both cities are partners in the project and have been integral in ensuring its success.
The initiative’s objective is to rethink the current models of sanitation facilities and design a new programmatic infrastructure and physical structure that instills a sense of dignity while addressing issues affecting sanitation practices in India and encouraging community members to stop the practice of open-defecation.
A total of 119 of these re-imagined facilities will be built and a dedicated research team will analyze the qualitative and quantitative impact they have on the communities which house them. The results of this intensive research will be shared in an open-sourced toolkit that will allow for replication in cities across India and beyond.
The project is a unique innovation initiative due to the diversity of the organizations working on it: design firms, government bodies, empirical researchers, architectural firms, waste management experts, community engagement specialists, and an interface management team. This amalgamation of seemingly disparate entities provides a robust and exhaustive approach that ensures community members’ needs are designed for, the facilities are both functional and valued not just in the near term but are sustainable over a much longer term, and the effectiveness of the engagement is thoroughly evaluated.