Tamil Nadu

Chennai’s first free luxury toilet with a cafe attached opened at Indira Nagar MRTS

The Loocafe luxury toilet which was opened at the Indira Nagar MRTS station in Chennai on Thursday.

The Loocafe luxury toilet which was opened at the Indira Nagar MRTS station in Chennai on Thursday. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Chennai has got its first luxury public toilet at the Indira Nagar MRTS station. The toilet is a par with the restrooms of high-end apartments. A cafe is also located near it.

Called Loocafe Thooya, this toilet is open to public for free and is the brainchild of Abhishek Nath, founder and chief executive officer of Ixora FM, a Hyderabad-based firm. And in Tamil Nadu, Loocafe will work with Madurai-based startup Thooya Innovations to take this concept across the State. Ixora will make the investment and the government will help with the land and space. And all Loocafe’s are made of shipping containers.

“We have toilet space for men, women, transgenders and people with disabilities. We have ramp access for wheelchairs. We have bars which will help them access toilets without any hassle,” said Abhishek.

“Work for Braille is in progress – where people can touch, feel and access these toilets,” Mr. Nath added.

He said since Chennai faced water shortage, plans were on to convert humidity into water and this would be supplied inside the toilets. This technology would be installed soon, he said.

Within one year, Chennai will have 50 Loocafes and the team behind this intends to have 100 such toilets across Tamil Nadu by 2024. “We have already got the work order to set up Loocafe in 50 locations across Chennai. You will soon find such toilets at Velachery, Beasant Nagar and T. Nagar,” said C.R. Venkatesh, managing director of Thooya.

Talks are on to replicate this in Coimbatore, Tiruchi, Madurai and Kodaikanal in the coming months.

Asked if the model could be sustained if offered free, Mr. Venkatesh said revenue to run the toilets would be generated through rentals collected from the cafe attached. “We are in talks with food brands and some of the popular tea and coffee brands to set up their businesses next to these toilets. And many of them have evinced interest and we will be signing formal agreements with them soon.”

Loocafe has joined hands with Madras Coffee House for its facility at Indira Nagar. The team will put in place a stink meter that will send out an alert once the stink level goes up.


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Printable version | May 12, 2022 9:42:17 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/chennais-first-free-luxury-toilet-with-a-cafe-attached-opened-at-indira-nagar-mrts/article65408393.ece