KSRTC promises clean toilets as Sulabh International comes on board

The KSRTC has brought on board Sulabh International, an NGO known for providing low-cost sanitation, for the upkeep of the toilet facilities at its depots across the state.
Representative image
Representative image

KOCHI: The state-run KSRTC sure is a lifeline to thousands of commuters, but answering the nature’s call is an ordeal at its bus depots. The stench is such that people would skip using the toilet complex if they had a choice. But all that could soon change.

The KSRTC has brought on board Sulabh International, an NGO known for providing low-cost sanitation in the country and abroad, for the upkeep of the toilet facilities at its depots across the state.

Amid rising complaints of poor maintenance of toilets, Transport Minister K B Ganesh Kumar, along with KSRTC managing director Pramoj Shanker, recently visited several depots and realised the pathetic situation of restrooms.

They were so shocked to see the state of affairs at units like Kottayam and Tiruvalla. Not only did they direct the officials concerned to take action against the contractors but also decided to bring about a sweeping change, promising spick-and-span toilets, and things moved fast!

“To start with, the Delhi-based Sulabh International will be entrusted with the maintenance of toilet complexes at Ernakulam, Kottarakkara, Karunagappally and Thiruvananthapuram city depots. The facilities will be handed over to the NGO this week itself. The NGO has already proven their efficiency by handling the toilet facilities of the Thiruvananthapuram airport and the city corporation,” a senior KSRTC official told TNIE.

Toilets in more depots to be handed over to NGO

While the Thiruvananthapuram Central depot too is in the scheme of things in the initial stage, the entire infrastructure facilities there are managed by the Kerala Transport Development Finance Corporation Ltd (KTDFC).

“We’ve given a request to the KTDFC. They have to get the approval of the board, and the process is on,” the official added. A list of 12 depots, including Aluva, has also been prepared, where the NGO will be handed over the maintenance of the toilet facilities in the next phase.

“Currently, local contractors are maintaining the facilities at many depots. We’ll entrust the same to Sulabh International as and when their contract periods expire,” the official pointed out.

However, there is no hike in the user fees, which is Rs 5 for the urinal and Rs 10 for the lavatory, respectively.

MLA Anwar Sadath, who recently took up the issue of proper maintenance of newly built toilet complexes at the KSRTC Aluva depot, said the new agency will be entrusted with the maintenance of the toilet facilities at 21 bus stations across the state.

“The transport minister has also promised that the toilet complexes at the Aluva KSRTC bus station will be managed by Sulabh International,” the MLA said.

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