NEW DELHI: To help end the problem of stinking toilets in trains, the Railways have developed a new vacuum toilet like the ones in airplanes and these will be introduced "soon", Rajya Sabha was informed today.
"Railways have developed the first-of-its-kind vacuum toilets as used in aircraft. The idea is to bring in vacuum- cum-biotoilets in trains soon. The only problem in vacuum toilets is that nothing can be discharged but collected," Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said during Question Hour.
"We are on track to convert almost all toilets into bio-toilets in railways. We have also launched a green corridor from Chennai where no human waste is thrown on tracks. That will also help improve the life of tracks as there will be no corrosion. We are working on taking this forward," he said.
The IRCTC is also developing a new modern "base kitchen" which will help improve the quality of food provided in various trains.
On the issue of improving the quality of food and catering, Prabhu said "we are introducing e-catering and when anyone travels, one can now order food of his choice."
"We are handing over the entire catering to IRCTC as food quality provided by contractors cannot be monitored. IRCTC is now developing a modern 'base kitchen' and it will henceforth cater to all the food in the Railways," he said.
The Minister said that Railways was in the process of constantly upgrading all coaches and conducting periodic overhaul. "We have already asked officials to prepare a plan to revamp the sick units of railways," he said.
Prabhu said he would work on improving the quality of coaches going to the South, after deputy chairman P J Kurien said there were frequent complaints received from rail passengers in trains to Kerala.