Thrissur: It takes only 30 minutes to cook rice for 1,000 persons; machinery to wash, slice and dice vegetables, and grate any number of coconuts; an automated washing machine to clean all your bedsheets. Need not mistake it for the luxury of a five star hotel. But this is Viyyur Central Jail. The changes are not intended to bring a cozy lifestyle to prisoners but to find more time to channelize human labour into other areas.
The entire cost of the project runs to more than Rs 2 crores. The facility was inaugurated by Jail DGP R Sreelekha. Most of the facilities here would be extended to the public in future.
The washing machines are large enough to clean thick cots and heavy blankets. The machinery which was installed at a cost of Rs 18 lakh has the mechanism to wash the clothes, a drainer to rinse them and a dryer to squeeze off the moisture content. The dryer will be put into use only during rainy season. The bedsheets and blankets of the prisoners are currently cleaned using the automated laundry facility that has the capacity of 60 kg.
DGP Sreelekha has opined the facility be extended for the public so as to bring an added revenue for the Prisons Department. The jail authorities are figuring out plans to increase the revenue by procuring bulk orders from hospitals through a permanent mechanism to collect and deliver bedsheets and other laundry items used by patients.
Water treatment plant
The prisoners require 3,000 litres of water on a daily basis. The RO plant set up at a cost of Rs 17 lakh can eliminate water-borne microbes. The purified water from the plant reaches all blocks through pipelines. The department is also doing the feasibility check on launching bottled water at a cheaper rate in the market using the water treatment facility here.
Fully automated kitchen
The prison has a new state-of-the-art kitchen furnished with equipment worth Rs 85 lakh. A fuel-efficient steam boiler that has a capacity to boil rice and vegetables for the 900 inmates of the prison is an added attraction. The rice will be ready in 30 minutes, which means less fuel consumption.
An automatic vegetable washer and, cutter are all part of the modern kitchen of the prison. The automated mechanism in kitchen will help save time and energy of the prisoners for better productive work.
The food once ready for serving will be delivered to the prisoners at various blocks using the new power trolley that was purchased at a cost of 3.5 lakh. A fully charged trolley can run up to a distance of 50 kilometres.