Railways plan more bio-toilets in trains

South East Central Railway (SECR) plans to introduce and maintain more bio-toilets in trains, keeping in view railway ministry’s efforts to provide such toilets in all trains by 2020.

“At present, there are bio-toilets in 14 coaches, including in 12 air-conditioned coaches and two sleeper coaches, being maintained at Bilaspur coaching depot. The division maintains 525 coaches of seven long distance and 11 short distance trains,” senior divisional mechanical engineer Lalit Dhurandar told TOI.

“Bio toilet is really a self-contained device that breaks down as well as dehydrates human waste with the help of an anaerobic bacterium inside a tank filled with 125 litres of water, which will convert it into harmless and odourless gas and water,” he said. “For long, waste was released directly on the tracks but now railways have found a solution to the messy problem with the help of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and bio-toilets is changing the scenario,” he added.

A high level safety committee headed by Dr Anil Kakodkar had noted in its report last year how the toilet droppings are one among the primary cause for the rail corrosion resulting in rail failure. The panel had also noted how railway men have refused to maintain tracks on account of dire unhygienic conditions.

Pointing out that the new age toilets were manufactured at Kapurthala coach factory and fitted in long distance trains, the ministry has already issued a circular to ensure green makeover in all the trains in order to improve hygienic conditions.


Bio-Toilets: Railways to Set Up Three Bacteria Plants

Railways will set up three bacteria generation plants as part of its effort to equip more coaches with bio-toilets in trains for eco-friendly waste disposal.

Railways have set a target of installing bio-toilets designed by DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organization) in 2,500 coaches in the current fiscal.

Bacteria plants will be set up in Kapurthala, Chennai and Nagpur as there is a huge requirement for anaerobic bacteria for an increasing number of coaches with bio-toilets, said a senior Railway Ministry official involved with the bio-toilet project.

“Currently we are procuring bacteria from DRDO but we have to generate on our own to meet the requirement for all coaches,” he said.

Bio-toilets are being fitted in all new LHB (Linke Holfmann Busch) coaches manufactured in Rail Coach Factory at Kapurthala and conventional coaches will also be equipped with these toilets in a phased manner, he said.

In bio-toilets, anaerobic bacteria converts human waste into water and gases (methane and carbon dioxide).

Currently bio-toilets have been provided on trial basis in Gwalior-Varanasi Bundelkhand Express, Jammu Tawai-Indore Malwa Express, Chennai-Guwahati Egmore Express, Nizamuddin-Indore Intercity Express, Indore-Gwalior Express, Mumbai-Varanasi Mahanagri Express, Lucknow-Mumbai Pushpak Express and Kochuveli-Bangalore Express.

The first train to be fitted with bio-toilets was Gwalior-Varanasi Bundelkhand Express in January last year. The latest train to be equipped with these new toilets is Kochuveli-Bangalore Express. Field trials on these trains are successful, the official said.

The problem of environmental degradation and corrosion of tracks has been a cause of concern for the Railways. Corrosion costs Railways more than Rs 3,500 million every year.

Railways have set up a core committee which is working out details to undertake fitting bio-toilets in about 50,000 coaches of the national transporter. (PTI)


Railways to set up bacteria generation plants for bio toilets

Railways is setting up a bacteria generation plant at the Rail Coach Factory here to meet the requirement of bio toilets in trains.

“We are setting up a plant here for generating anaerobic bacteria to be used in bio toilets in coaches. The plant will come up in a 100 cubic metre site at the Rail Coach Factory premises,” said a senior RCF official involved with the project.

Railways has set a target of installing bio toilets designed by DRDO in 2500 coaches in the current fiscal. Besides Kapurthala, there will be two more anaerobic bacteria generation plants to be set up at Chennai and Nagpur.

While bio toilets are being fitted in all new LHB coaches manufactured in RCF, conventional coaches will also be equipped with these toilets in a phased manner, said the RCF official.

The anaerobic bacteria inside the toilets consumes waste material and converts it into water and gas in the bio-toilet system. The water passing through chlorine tank is discharged as clean water and the gas generated evaporates into the atmosphere.

The RCF plant will produce about 10,000 litres of bacteria in 10 days. One toilet requires 150 litre of bacteria for 10 days. “Currently we are procuring bacteria from DRDO but we have to generate on our own to meet the requirement for all coaches,” he said, adding “the plant will be operational in the near future.”

The bio toilet is estimated to cost about Rs 1 lakh per unit. “It is odourless and it will also prevent corossion of rail tracks due to the open discharge of waste on rails,” he said.

The problem of environmental degradation and corrosion of tracks due to night soil has caught the attention of railways for a long time. Rail corrosion costs railways more than Rs 350 crore every year. Railways have successfully completed field trials using bio toilets in a few trains.

“We will equip 1200 coaches with bio toilets in the current fiscal,” the official said. Railways have set up a core committee which is working out details to undertake retro-fitment in about 50,000 coaches of the national transporter.


Bio-toilets in train coaches

Bangalore: With a view to maintain total cleanliness on the tracks at railway stations, the Railways will install bio-toilets in each coach. Testing of seven models, collected from across the globe, are on, Minister of State for Railways K.H. Muniyappa said here on Thursday.

Speaking to presspersons after an interactive meeting with the agencies and contractors engaged in construction activities, the Minister said that the Research, Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) has been entrusted with the job of conducting trials on various models of toilets. Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee, he said, was particular about maintaining cleanliness in the stations and once the trial of bio-toilets at the Integral Coach Factory, suitable to Indian conditions was complete, the best would be introduced in the Rajdhani Express and other important trains after a few months.

Mr. Muniyappa said three world-class stations have been sanctioned at Bangalore City, Byappanahalli and Mangalore.

He said that the ministry was holding consultations on policy matters such as funding them and the type of infrastructure to be created at such stations. For the Byappanahalli station, the inception report had been approved by the Railway Board and the State Government had cleared it. Land required for the project at NGEF was yet to be decided, he said.

He added that his ministry was spending Rs.785 crore on various projects in the State.