AC toilets? There’s a PPP for that

We already knew that India was sold on the public-private partnership (PPP) model, but we weren’t quite prepared to discover just how deep the Indian PPP market already is.

According to a recent report in The Times of India, a group of recently returned expatriates in the city of Surat, in the southern state of Gujarat, has entered into a peculiar PPP with the local government to – get ready for it – operate and maintain 12 public toilets.

Specifically, the group of 20 or so intends to refurbish the 12 toilet blocks, converting them into air conditioned toilets – no laughing matter in a state where the average daytime temperature in winter is a sweltering 29 degrees Celsius and a blisteringly hot 41 degrees in summer.

One of the expatriates, who preferred to remain anonymous, shed some light on the group’s plans:

“We have asked the Surat Municipal Corporation to hand over the whole of the Varacha zone from the civic body. We will guarantee a wholesale change in the area if we are entrusted with the work. We are back in the country to pay back the debt we owe to our motherland. We don’t plan to make money out of this venture – [we just] want [our] city to be a real world class city to live in.”

No availability payments needed then.