Five toilets to be opened under ‘Take a Break’ programme

Five of the 237 toilets proposed at public spaces under the ‘Take a Break’ programme initiated jointly by the district administration, Suchitwa Mission, and local bodies will be opened in the district shortly.

The proposed toilets will be either newly constructed or renovated, and the project is likely to be completed during the 2021-22 financial year.

“The first five will come up at Ramamangalam, Koovappady, Kuzhiipilly, and Kumbalanghi. The two at Kumbalanghi will be new, while the other three will be renovated. While these five will be basic units, the majority of others will be premium ones with extensive facilities attached to them. One such is proposed at the Kizhakkambalam private bus stand at an estimated cost of ₹45 lakh,” said P.H. Shine, Assistant Development Commissioner and district coordinator, Suchitwa Mission, Ernakulam.

The project envisions sanctioning of up to eight toilets within the corporation limits, five each in municipalities and two each in panchayats. The toilets could be built using multiple funds, including the performance-based incentive grant, Central financial commission grant, Plan funds of local bodies, MP and MLA funds. While the focus is on renovating existing ones into beautified and hygienic facilities, new superior quality ones could also be set up depending on the preferences of the local bodies. Besides, some toilets will be scaled up to premium standards with feeding room, dressing room, sanitary napkin vending machines, and even small eateries.

Different models in tune with local conditions and infrastructural feasibility are being explored alongside a user fee for making the facilities self-sustainable and ensuring their longevity. Kudumbashree may also be roped in for their maintenance.

One of the proposals is to rent out space for ATM counters or material collection facilities alongside toilets at places where spacious enough buildings could be found so that the rent covers operational expenses.

Initially, the plan was to complete the project by the end of last year but got delayed by the local body elections and the outbreak of the pandemic.

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Printable version | Apr 22, 2021 12:11:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/five-toilets-to-be-opened-under-take-a-break-programme/article33927985.ece

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