Indian Railways make record by installing 1.25 lakh bio-toilets in trains

Representational Image
Representational Image

New Delhi : Indian Railways has set a record with its bio-toilet project, the first of its kind across the railroad in the world. Till March 2018, the national transporter has fitted about 1,25,000 bio-toilets in its coaches, says a Railway Ministry release.

Led by Mr. Piyush Goyal, the ministry had decided to install bio toilets in train coaches and accordingly 1,25,000 bio-toilets have been installed in the coaches. The statement has been confirmed in a Railway Ministry release. 

In January 2011, 57 bio-toilets were introduced in one train i.e. Gwalior-Varanasi Bundelkhand Express. According to Railway Ministry, the highest ever bio-toilets in train coaches were installed during 2017-18. The total number of bio-toilets installed in 2017-18 is 40 per cent higher than the set target of 40,000 bio-toilets and 64 per cent higher than the installation of 34,134 bio-toilets in 2016-17. At present, Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways is operating 27 sections as Green Corridors and all the trains running on these sections are facilitated with bio-toilets. According to the ministry, installing bio-toilets on trains ensures there is no direct discharge of human waste on the tracks.

The “bio-toilet project” of Indian Railways is first of its kind, being used by any railroad in the world for on-board accelerated digestion of human waste. The bio-toilets in trains are fitted underneath the lavatories and the human waste discharged into them is then acted upon by a colony of anaerobic bacteria. Further to this, the bacteria converts the human waste mainly into water and small amount of bio-gases, which escape into atmosphere and waste water is discharged after chlorination onto the track. Therefore, the human waste does not fall on the railway tracks which ensure clean railroads.

Indian Railways mentioned that the process of accelerated digestion of human waste through bio-toilet helps to maintain cleanliness and hygiene on platforms, and help track and coaches maintenance staff to carry out their work more efficiently.

Officials at Railway Ministry mentioned that each day approximately 4,000 MT of human waste is discharged from train coaches. However, with the introduction of bio-toilets in 60% train coaches’ commensurate human discharge in open has been eliminated. The bio-toilets of Indian railways have its origin in India. The toilets have been developed by joint cooperation Indian Railways’ Engineers & DRDO’s scientists. This initiative has set an example where the technology developed for defence applications has been used for civilian purpose. Moreover, the partnership between DRDO, RDSO and the field units of Indian Railways has assisted the adaption and large scale use of the technology.