It pays to go in a public toilet

NEW DELHI Mon Jul 7, 2008 1:31pm EDT

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - It pays to use a toilet in southern India, as residents are earning close to a dollar a month by using public urinals, a scheme launched by authorities to promote hygiene and research in rural areas.

Dozens of people are queuing up to use toilets in Musiri, a remote town in Tamil Nadu state, where authorities have succeeded in keeping street corners clean with the new scheme, The Times of India newspaper said on Sunday.

"In fact, many of us started using toilets for urination only after the ecosan (ecological sanitation) toilets were constructed in the area," said S. Rajasekaran, a truck cleaner.

The urine was also being collected and tested for its efficacy as a crop fertilizer, an official of the state's agricultural university added.

People relieving themselves in the open is a common sight in India's rural towns and villages, as basic sanitation still eludes millions.

(Reporting by Bappa Majumdar; Editing by Jerry Norton)

(For the latest Reuters news on India see: in.reuters.com, for blogs see blogs.reuters.com/in/.)

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