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All Rail coaches in India to have green toilets, says govt

Jul 26, 2012

Ministry of Rural Development in India has offered to fit all new railways coaches with DRDO built bio-toilets and to share half the cost of retrofitting all existing 50,000 coaches with green toilets.

Bio toilets, designed by the Indian Railways in 2000, are set to become a reality soon. Minister of Rural Development Jairam Ramesh met the Railway Board Chairman Vinay Mittal here and expressed the hope to complete the project in the next four to five years.

Ramesh informed that the whole project will cost about 500 crore rupees and offered to share the burden on a 50-50 basis with the Railways. He said, at present only 9 trains with 436 coaches are fitted with bio-toilets, while 4,000 coaches are produced annually which could be fitted with new bio-toilets.

 The measure will not only prevent the corrosion of tracks but will also provide odourless toilets to passengers. At present waste is dumped directly on to the tracks because of the existing toilet system in trains. Many passengers ignore requests to not use toilets when trains halt. Apart from the unbearable stench it creates, the practice leads to clogging of rail lines at busy stations.

Ramesh has also requested the Railways Ministry to run Nirmal Bharat Express on the model of Red Ribbon Express to spread the message of cleanliness and sanitation. Shri Mittal has given a positive nod to the proposal and asked the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation to submit a detailed plan in this regard.

This will meant that railway passengers will soon get respite from the stench. Earlier, the railway board had announced a 14.20 crore fund for developing eco-friendly toilets for train coaches after the proposal was passed in the railway budget 2011.

Field trials for various types of green toilets, currently under way, are being carried out in Bundelkhand Express between Gwalior and Varanasi. These bio-toilets are in use in Siachen. At present, Duronto Express has controlled discharge toilet system.

These newly designed lavatories, likely to be manufactured in Motibagh workshop in Nagpur under the South East Central Railway (SECR), will not allow the refuse to fall on the tracks. Instead, it would be collected in 900 litres tank fixed below the coach floor.

Earlier, the railways had signed a MoU with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for development of bio-toilets for rail coaches. Rail tracks get corroded because of the discharge from toilets and the new design green toilets would prevent the damage to the tracks.
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