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Opening PWD rest houses to public pays off well for Kerala Govt

PWD Rest House, Thycaud, Thiruvananthapuram. Image Credit : PWD

Unlocking the doors of PWD rest houses to general public through an online booking system has emerged as successful strategy by Kerala government to make optimal use of government assets for revenue generation while simultaneously providing citizens with economical lodging options.

In the last two years, the initiative has generated a revenue of Rs 11. 68 crores from over 1.97 lakh bookings. The figures reveal that people have whole heartedly welcomed the initiative and extensively started using the PWD rest houses in the state for accommodation.

Kerala PWD Minister P A Muhammed Riyas has  lauded the initiative as a groundbreaking move offering an affordable accommodation option for the common man. It’s obviously a paradigm shift in the accessibility of government-owned rest houses, which were previously reserved for official use only. Many see it as a proactive step towards fostering transparency and inclusivity, allowing citizens to benefit from public resources that were, until now, largely under utilised.

“The initiative is truly a people-friendly move. The introduction of online booking facility for PWD rest houses in the country has enabled the public to use the government accommodation facilities at an affordable rate,” said Surendranath S, a retired staff of a private company in Kochi. Many view this decision as a progressive step towards leveraging government assets for the greater good of the people.

As per the details with the government, there are around 1166 AC and Non-AC rooms available at the guest houses spread across the state. The government data shows that the rest houses in Thiruvananthapuram had the highest number of bookings of 15224 in the last two years with a revenue of Rs 1.03 crore while Kasargod had the least with 8085 bookings and a revenue of Rs 44.89 lakhs. “It’s the introduction of online booking system that streamlined the process for citizens to reserve their stay at government rest houses.

Our two objectives with the initiative has turned out to a success. Firstly, to offer an affordable lodging solution for the public and secondly, to generate additional revenue for the government,” said a senior official of the Public Works Department.

The government’s decision to open up its rest houses to the public through an online booking system signifies a departure from traditional norms, embracing a more citizen-centric approach that aims to enhance accessibility, promote tourism and boost revenue.

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