100 centres to be set up in the first phase during the current financial year
World-class public amenity centres will be set up in cities, town centres, civil stations, and along major roads across the State by Ashwas Public Amenities Kerala Limited (APAKL) under the Public Works Department (PWD).
A Special Purpose Vehicle set up by the government, the APAKL has already invited Expression of Interest (EOI) to finance, own, operate and transfer the amenity centres. Official sources told The Hindu that 100 amenity centres would be set up in the first phase this financial year. The PWD has found government plots for setting up the centres. There is a clear idea as to where the facility was needed urgently, the sources said.
Each public amenity centre will have a floor area of 1,000 sq ft and half of it will be earmarked for commercial purpose to attract good investors. Well-designed comfort stations and rest rooms that are easily accessible to women, children, elderly and disabled persons are being planned. Drinking water facility, round-the-clock power supply and a 24x7 help desk to handle emergency situations will be the other attractions. Strategically placed, the amenity centres will be eco-friendly and work on indigenous technology.
The APAKL plans to include an eatery, garden, curio shop and ATM, depending on the locality of the centres. The sources said even car wash was being considered at certain centres.
The APAKL will be the nodal agency for constructing, developing, maintaining and operating the centres. The centres had been proposed under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) concept. The authorised capital of the SPV is Rs.5 lakh and the government will hold at least 26 per cent of the total paid up capital of the company. Those manning the centres will have the limited right to use the commercial space and display advertisements.