NEW DELHI: Stinky toilets in trains will soon be flushed away. Starting January 2018, Indian Railways will roll out first 100 coaches with bio-vacuum toilets like the ones in passenger airplanes. The bio-toilets in trains will be odour free, cut down water usage by one-twentieth and will have much lesser chances of getting blocked.
The Railways has been grappling with upkeep of bio-toilets as there were several complaints of them getting blocked due to dumping of waste such as plastic bottles, paper, cardboard boxes in the pot. Trials of bio-vacuum toilets were done in the Railways’ newly-launched premium train Tejas, and it has now been decided to install them out in other trains.
“To start with, Chennai-based Integral Coach Factory (ICF) will roll out 100 coach sets fitted with bio-vacuum toilets starting January 2018. Initially, these toilets will be fitted in AC-I and AC-II tier coaches of select trains
like Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto,” said a senior Railway ministry official. Foul odour and high water consumption were also major reasons that made Railways decide to replace existing bio-toilets with the bio-vacuum ones. Typically, a conventional toilet or bio-toilet uses 10-15 litres of water per flush, whereas the vacuum toilet consumes only approximately 500 ml of water for flushing.
“A bio-vacuum toilet has a suction pump that sucks waste without need for much water to flush it. This will also help in containing the foul smell as bio-digesters will eat up the waste,” the official added.
Initially, the Railways will have to shell out more money to for bio-vacuum toilets as they will have to be imported. A bio-toilet costs Rs 2.5 lakh, while a bio-vacuum one is for Rs 3.25 lakh.
“The cost is likely to come down once we plan to have bio-vaccum toilets in all coaches. The manufacturers have assured us they will set up manufacturing units in India to meet the demand of these units,” the official added.
Over 79,500 bio-toilets have been fitted in more than 22,400 coaches till June this year. In the budget, Indian Railways was allocated Rs 1,155 crore for bio-toilets in passenger trains as part of the Prime Minister’s Swachh Bharat Mission.
In the loo-p
- A bio-toilet uses 10-15 litres of water per flush while a bio-vacuum toilet consumes only around 500 ml
- A bio-toilet costs Rs 2.5 lakh, a bio-vacuum one is for Rs 3.25 lakh.
- Railways was given Rs 1,155 crore for bio-toilets in trains.