As many as 13 fully automated e-toilets, a convergence of electronics, web and mobile technologies, will be installed in busy areas along the arterial road of the capital and in the beach resort of Kovalam using the District Innovation Fund (DIF) and from the MP fund.

Kowdiar, Vellayambalam, Saphalyam complex in Palayam, Government Secretariat, Putharikandam maidan, Gandhi Park, East Fort, Shanghumughom, Eve’s beach and Asoka beach in Kovalam are the places where the e-toilets are to be installed. Two e-toilets each are to be installed at Shanghumughom, Eve's and Ashoka beach at Kovalam, where the tourists frequent mostly and the remaining places are to get one unit each.

The e-toilets to come up will be the upgraded versions of the ones installed in the museum and Kanakakunnu premises recently. The 13 e-toilets will come in handy for the public, especially the Sabarimala pilgrims, as the city lacks efficient toilet facilities. The civic authorities had also not bothered to take adequate steps to address the public sanitation issue and it continues to be a neglected area as in other cities in the country.

Being set up at a cost of Rs. 55.55 lakhs, 90 per cent of the funds for installing the 11 e-toilets at eight vantage points is being provided by the district administration and the balance amount is being mobilised by the Kerala State Electronics Development Corporation (Keltron). The e-toilets at Putharikandam maidan and Saphalyam complex is being installed using the MP funds made available by T. N. Seema, Rajya Sabha MP.

“The sites are yet to be handed over to us. The units are ready and the works are expected to be completed early next month’, an official of the Keltron told The Hindu. Keltron had also been awarded the maintenance contract of the e-toilets for seven years by the district administration. Free service is be provided by Keltron during the warranty period.

Delight Bharat 9005 and Delight Bharat 9999 e-toilets developed by Eram Scientific Solutions, the Technopark- based company, is to be installed at these places. The unmanned unit features automated door opening, power flushing, automatic closet washing and sterilisation, and platform cleaning mechanism. The system is backed by SMS alerts to inform the control room about the status of the water tank and the waste management system in the event of a failure.

The door opens automatically when a coin of the specified denomination is inserted into a slot at the entrance. The lights and exhaust fans are controlled by sensors and come on only after a person enters the unit thereby saving power. GPRS technology is used for remote control to monitor the daily collection and halt the operation in case of failure.

The flushing unit uses only 1.5 to 4.5 litres of water compared to a normal domestic flushing system that consumes six to seven litres on an average. Waste water management depends on bio-membrane reactor technology using bacteria. The waste water is recycled.

The DIF was provided to the districts under the recommendation of the 13th Finance Commission to make cutting edge level of the Government responses to the felt needs of the people. A sum of Rs. 1 crore had been made available to all districts in the country.