To ensure the safety of women solo travellers, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday, January 1, announced a number of schemes including safe lodging.
Recognising a lack of safe stays for solo women travellers, the CM said that safe, clean, and affordable lodging facilities would be soon set up in all major towns in the state.
“Kerala gives a lot of priority to women’s safety. However, there’s a long-standing concern about the difficulties faced by women travellers. A major problem is a safe place to stay,” Vijayan said during a press meet.
“A woman who travels alone or with a child needs a place to stay that is safe, provides breakfast the next morning, and has all the necessary facilities. Such lodging facilities for women travellers would be made ready in all major towns in the state,” he added.
The CM added that the project would be undertaken by local self-governing bodies. In addition, multi-facility wayside rest house complexes would be constructed in the state. These rest houses would especially be beneficial to long-distance travellers who would want to rest, eat, or refuel, among other necessities. The CM added that process to identify the land for these have already begun.
Furthermore, addressing the problem of clean toilets for travellers, Vijayan said that about 12,000 public toilets, one pair for around 3000, people would be constructed across Kerala for both men and women this year.
He further said that a pair of toilets that can be used by anyone will also be implemented in petrol pumps across the state.
“Although there are toilets in petrol pumps, it is for people who use the services there. Most of these are not women-friendly either. We will hence implement a pair of toilets in each pump, that can be used by anyone,” said Vijayan.
The CM’s announcements come just two days after NITI Ayog rated Kerala as the top state in Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Index 2019. The state maintained its top position with a score of 70 out of 100.