What about a five-star touch to the 'thattukadas'? Sounds unreal? Not anymore. The 'thattukadas' (wayside eateries) at Shangumugham in Thiruvananthapuram will be shortly spruced up and upgraded to the standards of five star hotels. The first 'Thattukada Theruvu' (street of wayside eateries) in Kerala, with superlative facilities in terms of quality of food and hygiene, will be opened on Shangumugham beach in the immediate future.
The thattukadas are coming under one roof as part of the 'Clean Street Food Hub' project initiated by the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India. A central team will be reaching Shangumugham beach to look into the modalities of the project in association with the Food Safety Department.
Before the Thattukada Theruvu is thrown open to the public, the quality of water and ice cubes to be used in the eateries will be tested. The Food Safety Department will buy used cooking oil from the eating outlets to make sure that the oil is not reused. Moreover, a one-month training would also be imparted to people working in these eateries. The workers would also be subjected to periodic health check-ups.
Close watch on hygiene
An official of the Food Safety Department will be deputed to keep an eye on the cleanliness of these outlets. The central government will bear the expenses incurred to put in place the basic infrastructure for the eateries and pay the salary of the deputed official. The disposal of waste and personal hygiene of the workers will be ensured. There will be a clear demarcation between the kitchen and dining area, and wash basins are mandatory in all outlets. The shops will be issued hygiene certificates based on the facilities provided by them. The street will be serving food that satisfies each palate and the food items will be uniformly priced.
Though the Food Safety Department had selected many places in the capital city for this venture, the authorities finally chose Shangumugham beach as the idle location for 'Thattukada Theruvu.' The 'Manaveeyum Veedhi,' was considered for the project, but the city corporation rejected the application on the ground that the 'veedhi' was the hub of cultural activities. The area surrounding the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple was avoided for the project as development activities were progressing there as part of the Swadeshi Darshan Scheme. Kovalam was also considered as it was the epicentre of tourism activities but the tourist spot became out of favour due to lack of proper space.
Plans are afoot to replicate the project in four other places in Kerala-Alappuzha beach, Nallumanikattu in Kottayam, Fort Kochi, and Kozhikode beach. Preliminary inspection relating to the project is over in these four locations.