Only 16 toilets are left to be constructed to meet the target of 27,745 individual household latrines under the urban ODF programme and its work is expected to be completed soon, official sources in Thiruvananthapuram said.
The work is progressing at Thanthonni Thuruth, a water-logged area under the Corporation limit of the state's commercial hub, Kochi, they said.
In place of the ordinary latrines, fiber toilets have been constructed in water-logged areas especially in coastal Alappuzha and Kochi, he said adding keeping the places especially coastal areas open defecation-free is a challenge apart from space constraints.
20 units of the total 93 urban civic bodies in the state, including two municipal Corporations and 18 Municipalities, have already been declared ODF after its self-declaration and the mandatory third party inspection by the centre.
About 1.75 lakh toilets had been constructed in rural parts of the state including critical areas like remote tribal hamlets and water-logged areas under the initiative.
A senior official of Suchitwa Mission, the state nodal agency for sanitation which is entrusted with its implementation, said a number of other civic bodies are also waiting for the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs' inspection after its self-declaration as ODF.
"Many civic bodies have already completed self-declaration procedure and waiting for the inspection by the Centre team," the Mission official, who does not want to be named, told PTI.
The technical team of Ministry of Urban Affairs, awarding the ODF status, is particular about the existence of public toilets as it is important to realise the ODF goals in densely populated urban areas, he added.
In the urban area, Thrissur and Kozhikode corporations have already been declared open defecation free. Thiruvananthapuram Corporation has completed the self-declaration procedure, but it is yet to get the nod from the centre for third party inspection.
Expressing hope that urban Kerala will be declared complete ODF by the end of January, the official said, "Even if it may take some more time for the construction of public toilets, the declaration will not go beyond March next year."