All rail coaches to get bio-toilets in 10 yrs

Ten years down the line to provide better cleanliness and hygiene in and around railway stations, on board trains and track area, the entire fleet of the Indian Railway will be fitted with the bio-toilets. A senior railway official informed the Delhi High Court bench headed by the Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw during hearing of a PIL earlier this month.

Ajay Singh, Director of Mechanical (Development) told the Bench that by the 2021-22, all the coaches of Indian Railway will be fitted with bio-toilets. “Currently 500 bio-toilets have been fitted in the rail coaches and by the end of year 2,500 more of these toilets will be fitted in the coaches. By the year 2016-17, all the new rail coaches will be fitted with these green toilets,” said Singh. PIL was filed by Safai Karamchari Andolan. Singh informed the court that currently 50,000 coaches are in service and 4,000 coaches produced every year at Integrated Rail Coach factory.

The Bench asked the railways to speed up the process of installing the bio-toilets, on which Singh told the court that the existing rail coaches currently in use and which goes for periodic overhaul (maintenance) every one-and-half year. These toilets can be fitted once they go for periodic overhaul as it cannot be done at station and yards.

The bio-toilets will make stations and trains cleaner and would also solve the problem of manual scavenging which is also against the basic human rights. The new toilets will not only improve the environment on board for passengers but also help in preventing corrosion of rail track, which takes place due to the acidic nature of waste material. Railways have joined hands with the Defence Research & Development Establishment (DRDE), Gwalior for the development of bio-toilets.