New Delhi: Beginning with the introduction of 57 bio-toilets in one train i.e. Gwalior-Varanasi Bundelkhand Express in January 2011, Indian Railways has provided about 1,25,000 bio-toilets in its coaches till March 2018. This covers about 60% of coaching fleet of Indian Railways. During 2017-18, IR has installed highest ever bio-toilets in coaches which is 40% higher than the set target of 40,000 bio-toilets and 64% higher than the fitment of 34134 bio-toilets in 2016-17.
Presently, Indian Railways have commissioned and operating 27 sections as Green Corridors. All the trains plying on these sections are running with all the coaches equipped with bio-toilets. Thus, there is no direct discharge of human waste from the trains running on these Green Corridors.
“Bio-Toilet project” of Indian Railways is an innovative & indigenous development of technology. This technology is first of its kind being used by any railroad in the world for On-board accelerated digestion of human waste. These bio-toilets are fitted underneath the lavatories and the human waste discharged into them is acted upon by a colony of anaerobic bacteria that convert human waste mainly into water and small amount of bio-gases. The gases escape into atmosphere and waste water is discharged after chlorination onto the track. Human waste, thus, does not fall on the railway tracks thus improving cleanliness and hygiene at platforms, and facilitate track and coaches maintenance staff to perform their work more efficiently. The Bio-toilet project is very much aligned with ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’, launched by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India.
The technology for Bio-toilets has been innovated, designed and is ‘Made in India’. It has been developed jointly by Indian Railways’ Engineers & DRDO’s scientists. It is one example where the technology developed for defence applications has been utilised for civilian purpose. Adaption and large scale deployment of the technology has been facilitated by collaboration between DRDO, RDSO and the field units of Indian Railways.
As per estimation, approx. 4,000 MT of human waste is discharged from train coaches every day. With the proliferation of bio-toilets in 60% coaches commensurate human discharge in open, has been eliminated.
In addition to earnest efforts being put in by Indian Railways, the success of this important project largely depends on the co-operation of its valued customers/ passengers by not throwing any in-organic material like paper, bottles, paper/ plastic cups, polythene, napkins, nappies, cloth, ghutka pouches, cigarette/ bidi buds etc. in toilet pans/ bowls.