Motibagh rly workshop to make green toilets

The suspense over who would manufacture environment-friendly toilets for train coaches in the city is over. The Railway Board has announced that the Rs 14.20 crore unit to make green toilets would be located at Motibagh workshop in city.

TOI on February 4 had reported that proposal to manufacture green toilets in Nagpur would be announced in the railway budget. Although railway minister Mamata Banerjee did not include the announcement in her speech, the decision still stands. The Board has made a token outlay of Rs 1 lakh for 2011-12 for the unit in Motibagh under the South East Central Railway (SECR). Deputy chief mechanical engineer (DyCME) Pradeep Kamle confirmed the development.

“We too are surprised. I learnt about it two days ago. No formal proposal was sent about the project and hence we also didn’t know about the modalities and details how the unit will be placed and its machinery. The Board will issue guidelines soon and a formal proposal will be sent,” Kamle said.

Earlier, there was ambiguity about the manufacturer. Two institutes – Vanrai and National Environment Engineering Research Institute (Neeri) – who have expertise in making green toilets had denied they were going to do the job. “The Indian Railways’ move to manufacture new design eco-friendly toilets in Nagpur is a step towards its commitment for cleaner environment and to prevent damage to rail tracks,” a senior railway official said.

“Efforts are on for installation of green toilets in trains and field trials are on for the purpose. Trials are going on for eco-friendly controlled discharge toilet system, zero discharge toilet system and bio-toilet based on bio-digester technology to be installed in all passenger trains. At present, Duronto Express has controlled discharge toilet system,” a senior official said.

Motibagh workshop began with maintaining steam engines 130 years ago, and has now started overhauling of broad gauge coaches.

What are eco-toilets?

Toilets in Indian trains are so terrifying that many passengers do not eat or drink anything during entire journey to avoid going there. Besides, human excreta released from trains spreads diseases and makes even standing at platforms unbearable. The eco-friendly toilet does not allow the refuse to fall on the tracks. Instead, it is collected in a tank fixed below the coach floor. The tank capacity is 900 litres, twice the capacity of the overhead water tank. The prototype of this toilet was developed in 2000. In appearance it is similar to the current train toilets.

Published in: on March 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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