Mapping the Kumbh Mela

Interdisciplinary faculty and student research on a “Pop-up Mega City”

Meena Hewett, SAI Associate Director, on sanitation and public toilets at the Kumbh

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photoDay Two: I accompanied Richard Cash, Harvard School of Public Health, and his students to understand the sanitation and public toilet facilities at the Kumbh. 

There are five main types of toilets at the site: the commonly used, squat on the ground anywhere, a temporarily constructed semi private 4×6 inch enclosure, large public 50x 50 feet open space enclosed by corrugated metal sheets, 4×4 inch individual private cubicles lined adjacent to living tents for kumbh workers residing on the site, “no discharge toilets” and the sophisticated bio toilets (see image) where 90% of solid waste is converted to liquid that is passed through an underground four chamber filtration tank that finally leaches the almost clean water into the ground.The bio toilets are prefabricated structures that can be easily constructed in 24 hours.One of the problems with the bio toilets was its use capacity. It is designed for 200 uses per day but the day of one of the main bathing date (Jan 14) they had 1000 people traffic through the facility leading to a bad jam!

~ Meena

Written by Nora Maginn

January 20, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Posted in All, Sanitation

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