Ashwas will be a great ashwasam
The entry and exit with good barriers from the highway are essential. Have you considered chemical toilets? I think washing will be a problem as tissue won’t be an option.
The Sulabh complexes (pay & use toilets) in other states are working well, I guess…or, they were working well ages ago when I used to travel in India.

Keeping it simple and clean could help with maintenance- enough toilets, kiosk, off street parking, enough lighting (solar?) etc.
Thanks for the initiative


Shaji, Melbourne.


You have got a difficult project in hand. Public utility spaces in private area. Kerala is the only state where we cannot find a vacant public space on side of any highways. Tightly packed.

Recently I have seen similar arrangement during our Malayasia trip. After every 40 to 50 kms on highways, public toilets are made on side of the highways. Vehicles need to take an exit road , to avoid disturbance to main traffic. Few shops, coffe shops, fruit shops, ATM, resting benches, Clean Public toilets etc will be there. Also a nearby gas station, tyre maintenance shop etc. Very convenient arrangement

As far as I know, every petrol pumps in Kerala are supposed to have public toilet , for the use of customers . But, very few of them are kept clean. Whichever are kept clean , are locked up by the pump staff. You have to take the key and use it. If the customer is not filling petrol/diesel from the pump, staff is reluctant to give the key.


Gokul Varma, Edapally.


        Soooo happy to hear abt this endeavour! Kudos & Good luck!.. will be a great help for us ladies (who don’t have the luxury of doing the ‘ way side mundu pokkal’) -remember getting into a house once and asking them if we could use the latrine!.. Now the next thing would be to keep it clean…. You should have private entities sponsor each one!


Reeny, USA

This project is overdue along Kerala highways. I would suggest BOT arrangement to be succesful. Concept is good, but for Kerala what is needed is basic hygene education – we should make it mandatory for primary schools. All these Ashwas Kendras will turn into eye sores in about few months’ of its opening! I truly hope they won’t.


Thomachen, USA


A very good initiative . If it is maintained well , it will be great !

The main idea in your project is to help the public by providing neat and clean toilets, isn’t it ? ..all the other stuffs like shopping center , food joints , and other interesting things are to help the owner of the area to gain some money from the public who frequent that place …So the important point is how to keep the toilet clean and hygiene … This should be a binding contract part ….the area should be owned by the govt and they should lease the land ( only ) to the person who has taken the contract ..the person who runs the business in the area should agree to keep the toilets clean by engaging a suitable agency ..and anytime if the toilets are found not clean or hygiene ..he should be first warned and then severely punished ..

There are lot of such comfort rooms in Tamilnadu and other places ..but rarely they are maintained …but the person who is sitting just outside that stinking room will never forget to take money before letting you in ..that’s all , his job is over …too bad .

I feel in Guruvayoor , near the temple a huge such complex is there which is well maintained …. people should have a good attitude to keep the clean , leave the toilets well flushed etc ..then only it can help …

Hope your effort brings in a sea change …… Most importantly, politics should have not have any link into this business …


Balu, KSA

The idea of creating Ashwas kendras is a great relief to all the old folks. In principle, there are such kendras operating in the KSRTC bus stands and the Railway stations. The operation and maintenance of these stations are by third parties.

What are the problems with these kendras?

Hygiene concept is never heard of.

They are not human friendly.

Near to nil maintenance.

Only phenol (sparingly) is used as a cleaning agent.

No accountability.

No transparency.

How should the Ashwas kendras be?

Acknowledge that these are not meant for poor Indians. They would still relieve themselves at their favourite roadside spots.

Declare these kendras as Hygiene zones. There shall be a code of conduct displayed to educate the public about the minimum hygiene requirements. Favourite Indian pastimes like spitting and littering shall be prohibited in these areas. A ‘to do and not to do’ list shall support the code of conduct.

Number of toilet outlets shall be based on the expected population of the kendras. Population study shall be carried out for this purpose.

Soap dispensers/tissues/hand driers shall be provided.

Smoking shall be strictly prohibited in these kendras. Dedicated smoking areas shall be provided for the benefit of the smoking public.

Regular maintenance of the facility shall be ensured by the owner/operator.

Cleaning agents/consumables shall be specified and monitored for strict adherence.

Cleaning records shall be displayed in the toilet areas.

Operators store of cleaning agents/consumables shall be subjected to spot checking for compliance to the authorities requirements.

Many of these may sound utopian, but this should act as a stepping-stone for a cleaner India.

Sometime back there were only hand signals in automobiles. Now everybody has learned to use electric signals.

Note: Check the operation of e-toilets and KTDC Aaraamam to study deficiencies and required improvements.


Mohan, kovai.


You may look at the way side eateries, public facilities etc on the Mumbai Pune Express Way to see some model in the Indian context. Though not sure how far it is applicable in Kerala. The number and quality of eateries are good and people invariably stop there to eat something, freshen up and also to fill petrol. Petrol and diesel cost approx Rs. 2/L less


Mohan, Pune.

Response from public

1. A public toilet should be located after every kilometre in towns.

2. On the highways, public toilets should be built after every 40-50 kms.

3. Government should make the building and maintenance of public toilets one of their top priorities.

4. The company should be made responsible for the upkeep of the public toilets.

5. Special funds should be allocated to the company for this matter.

6. Staff should be given special training to keep the toilets clean.

7. Staff should be made accountable for their work.

8. Modern cleaning equipment should be purchased.

9. Choked drains are the primary reason for the filthiness of the public toilets;

de-silting the drains everyday should be made part of the maintenance process.

10. Automatic room fresheners should be installed in all public toilets.

11. Continuous water supply should be ensured to all public toilets.

12. Bright lighting should be ensured in all public toilets.

13. Usage of public toilets should be on Pay & Use mode.

14. All broken taps, commodes etc should be immediately replaced.

15. Outsourcing the maintenance to private contractors could be another option to increase accountability.

16. Installing the new age bio-degradable toilets could also ease out the situation.

17. Option of corporates building and maintaining public toilets (in their neighbourhood/area) should be explored and tied up with CSR initiatives.

18. Public awareness campaigns on the effective use and upkeep of toilets should be organized across India.