KOCHI: Launch of the online booking system in 2021 has worked wonders for the PWD rest houses. Thanks to the move, the department earned additional revenue of Rs 10 crore over two years with 1,78,000 people booking the rooms online.
Buoyed by this, the PWD is now planning to renovate and modernise the rest houses. A sum of Rs 20 crore has been approved for renovating eight such centres across the state. They are the rest houses at Fort Kochi, Ponmudi, Thruthala, Meppadi and Mattannur.
“The various steps initiated by the state government to revive the rest houses bore fruit,” said PWD Minister P A Mohamed Riyas. He said making people aware about the availability of such a facility in their neighbourhood had been the department’s primary focus.
“There are 153 PWD rest houses in the state with 1,161 rooms between them. However, how many know about it? Earlier, if a person from Kozhikode wanted to book a room in the PWD rest house in Fort Kochi, they would have to go through every official channel. Even then, getting a room was not guaranteed,” Riyas said. So, changing the mode of booking had been step 1, he said.
He said that the next phase for the PWD rest houses, now known as People’s Rest Houses, is modernisation.
“The renovation will be done while preserving the originality of the buildings,” he said. The base amount for a room in the rest houses is Rs 400. “So, a person would save around Rs 1,000 here compared to the same accommodation elsewhere,” Riyas said.
Riyas inaugurated the renovation work of the rest house near the Fort Kochi beach on Tuesday. The work will be carried out for Rs 1.45 crore. “It includes converting the building constructed in 1962 into a food centre and renovating the rooms of another building that was built in 2006,” Riyas said.