NEW DELHI: The Indian Railways has finally installed the bio-toilets in the entire fleet of passenger coaches as part of the Swachh Bharat Mission with the support of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
Adopting the ‘anaerobic bacteria’ the first of its kind in railway systems in the world the Indian Railway (IR) has installed the bio-toilets in 79,269 passnger coaches during 2021-22 ,which prevent fall of nearly 2, 74,000 litres human excreta on tracks every day.
To achieve this eco- feat, the Indian Railway Bio-digester Technology of Defence Research and Development Establishment (DRDE) worked with the DRDO for years and finally developed this eco-friendly enabled ‘anaerobic bacterial’ system under ‘Make in India’ initiative.
It takes- in the human waste as input and converts into water and gas as output. Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw continued monitoring this system to set a benchmark in the installation of bio-toilets. “With this achievement, the railway ensured that no human waste is discharged from coaches on tracks and nearly 3,980 tons of per day human waste dumped on tracks is avoided,”, Rajiv Jain-ADG, PR , Railway, claimed.
It has also helped the railways in preventing corrosion of rails and fittings due to human waste. Detailing about this, he said that the indigenously developed ‘anaerobic bacteria’ converts human waste into water and bio-gases (mainly methane CH4 and Carbon dioxide). The gases escape into atmosphere and waste water is discharged after chlorination onto the track.
“This technology under ‘Make In India’ initiative has brought a paradigm shift in cleanliness at staion premises and tracks, which can been seen across the railways,” Jain claimed, adding that the Gwalior-Varanasi Bundhelkahnd was the first train that was fitted with IR-DRDO bio-toilet in 2011. Acting over received outputs, the fitments was ramped to a great extent that has now made the entire fleet of passenger trains equipped with the bio-toilets.
Lack of toilets troubles women loco pilots
NEW DELHI: Women loco pilots working with the Indian Railways thr most because of paucity of toilets. They have to either cut down the water intake or sanitary napkins to avoid the urgent call of nature on duty in locomotives because of lack of toilets.
As per official figure, the railway has been able to provide the toilet facilities only in 97 electric train locomotives. As result of this, not only woman loco pilots but males also face hardship while driving the trains when they feel urge for attending the short call of Nature in running trains.
“Six years ago, then Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had flagged off the first locomotive fitted with a bio-toilet, but only about 97 have been installed so far,” rued a woman loco driver, preferring anonymity.