In India, highways are the quickest route to travel across the country. These highways are intended to get you there as quickly and securely as possible. The expressway system was started to connect major cities and towns in a short time.
In India, the highway system is well-developed, and lakhs of people use it for both personal and commercial purposes. But, one problem remained unchanged. Can you guess it? If you are a female, I guess you can guess it well.
Yes! I am talking about the restrooms on the highway. They are just horrible for a female traveler and every time a female traveler uses the washroom they come out mostly as if it was a nightmare. Here, the good news is, it’s going to change, long journeys on road are no more uneasy just because of the restrooms.
A group of startups is pitching to make a difference. They are establishing smart toilets along highways, some of which include sleeping pods and charging facilities for electric automobiles (EVs).
Moneycontrol has identified 4 startups that are making a positive impact on the lives of travelers, particularly women. The misery of a girlfriend or spouse who cannot access a clean or hygienic public bathroom is at the heart of the majority of these startups’ birth. Startups such as:
Clean Quest Services Private Ltd, based in Bangalore, operates Lavato, which currently has one service facility on NH-44. E “We intend to,” stated entrepreneur and founder Naveen Singh intends to develop high-quality public restrooms, mostly on highways, tourist destinations, pilgrimages, cities, and retail malls.
The major reason for picking up NH44 for their first unit, Naveen Singh said that it was a major route with no well-maintained facilities on the stretch, especially for female travelers. He also disclosed that they serve around 150 clients every day and during weekends, they happily serve around 300 people.
- Premium pay and use toilets,
- Separate toilets facility for transgenders, specially-abled & children,
- Shower rooms,
- Sleeping pods (Based on hourly rentals),
- A convenience store
- “Eat-your-own food” dining table,
- Parking area, etc.
Travlounge, a project of Kerala-based Beacon Group & AZCCO Global, has recently opened a premium roadside restroom in Walayar, Palakkad (Salem-Kochi highway). Travlounge co-founder PT Safeer stated that the facility has already had a soft launch and that a full inauguration is planned for this month.
They also stated that the response from the public has been phenomenal and that they are already having more than 100 daily visitors. According to Safeer, the company intends to build 5 facilities in Kerala before extending to other parts of India.
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- A mini-mart having travel essentials,
- A cafe,
- Business class lounge services,
- Sleeping pods.
- Car wash facility,
- EV charging spots,
- Parking facility,
- First aid,
- Security services and
- free Wi-Fi
The Bhopal-based business Lootel of Dot Box Conception Pvt. Ltd (DBCPL), created by Yashwant Suthar, an industrial designer who studied at IIT- Delhi, has placed IOT restrooms in Indore, Bilaspur, & Rameswaram. In the next five years, they hope to create 1,000 fully self-sustaining public toilets across India.
- Hygienic, clean, and well-maintained restroom facilities
- Food and beverages, etc
Diptendu Roy, the founder of Raipur-based sanitation business Eloo, wanted to put up public toilets when his then-girlfriend, later wife, had a terrifying experience on a road journey. He founded Eloo in 2018 and launched their first women’s facility center in Santiniketan, West Bengal, with funding from the Birbhum district authority.
The response has been great, with approximately 100-120 individuals using their services on weekends & 50-80 people using our facilities on weekdays. Eloo is currently operating in collaboration with a self-help organization union in Santiniketan, charging INR 30 per user.
- 3 toilets are completely dedicated to women,
- One breastfeeding room,
- One toilet with a bathing function that is gender-neutral.
- The SHG-run cafe that serves refreshments,
- The IOT-based toilet tracker developed with the assistance of IIT Mandi is the most unique. This tracker displays water level, humidity, and ammonia content to detect pee odour and the number of users at various times of the day. This information aids in optimizing the toilet maintenance routine.
Smart toilets have already been placed in places like:
- Krishnagiri (Bengaluru-Chennai highway),
- Walayar (Tamil Nadu-Kerala border),
- Indore in Madhya Pradesh,
- Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh,
- Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu and
- Santiniketan in West Bengal
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