The coastal state of Kerala on 7th September 2021 dedicated 100 TAB (Take a Break) public toilet complexes as part of the Chief Minister’s 100 days programme. The state level inauguration aims to set new standards in hygiene and safety standards for public toilets.
‘Take a Break’ refreshment facilities and toilet complexes with the TAB tag are currently coming up alongside the national and state highways, transport stations, shopping complexes etc., to address the issue of shortage of quality public toilets in the state.
Dearth of high-quality public toilets has been causing difficulties for people, especially travellers and commuters. Women and children are most affected due to this situation, while travelling by road. TAB refreshment facilities and toilet complexes are envisioned by the state government to make available high quality refreshment facilities to this vulnerable section. Safety, well-upkeep and maintaining cleanliness standards would be a high priority in TABs. Coffee shops, and rest-areas are also a part of some of the TABs. Napkin vending-machines, napkin-destroyers, waste-bins, cleaning agents and utensils would be provided at TABs, an official communique said.
Kerala intends to have 2365 TABs across the state in a phased manner by way of constructing a minimum of two high quality toilets in Grama Panchayats, 5 in the Municipalities and 8 in the Municipal Corporations. A total of 100 TABs were inaugurated in the last year and another 100 are now being inaugurated.
So far, local bodies in the state have taken-up 1213 TAB projects and tendering procedures of 1063 are completed. Construction of 524 TABs has already been initiated. Out of this, 165 TABs are high-quality modern toilets which comes under the premium category.
There are 3 categories (Basic, Standard and Premium) of toilets including those which are renovated from their run-down stage. The Premium level TAB would have sophisticated facilities and services such as snack-bars and coffee-shops. As for the upkeep and maintenance of the TABs, the responsibilities would rest with the Local bodies which may engage agencies or the service of Kudumbashree Units.
Through the project the state is also expecting to solve the long pending demand for public sanitation facilities by tourists and commuters. This would be an added advantage to the tourism industry in the state.
It is indeed a landmark achievement in the development sector of the state by solving a long-pending issue of inadequacy in public sanitation facilities. The role of LSGIs, its officials and elected representatives is commendable in this regard.