NEW DELHI: Indian Railways proposes to complete the work of installation of bio-toilets in all train coaches by 2019, Union Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal told Rajya Sabha here on Friday.
Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour, the Minister said that so far over one lakh bio-toilets had been installed while the balance coaches will be fitted with such toilets by next year to promote hygiene and keep railway tracks free from methane gas and uric acid. Each toilet costs about Rs 1 lakh but efforts were on to bring down costs.
The Minister explained that in the bio-toilet system, a bio-digester tank is fitted beneath each toilet of a coach for the collection of human faecal matter.
These bio-tanks are seeded with self-sustaining anaerobic bacteria that digest human waste and convert the waste into water and bio-gases (mainly methane and carbon dioxide).
The gases escape into the atmosphere and wastewater is discharged after disinfection. Human waste thus does not fall on the Railway tracks. This keeps the tracks and station premises clear from human waste.
The government has provided a budgetary outlay of Rs 1220-crore for completing the installation of railway coaches with bio-toilets.
Replying to a query Mr Goyal said the rail sector had been neglected for last 60 years.
However, the Modi government was focusing on modernisation of the Railways for which the government had earmarked Rs 1.42-crore. There will be no compromise with passenger safety,'' the Minister assured members.