Bio-toilets to prevent corrosion of rail tracks

Defacement and corrosion of railway tracks by night soil—costing the exchequer crores—might soon be a thing of the past. All new coaches inducted into the trains run by Northern Railway will now come fitted with bio-toilets. After the successful run of bio-toilets installed in Nizamuddin-Indore Inter-City train, the railways has decided to install such toilets in all trains maintained by the Delhi division.

Top sources said the Integral Coach Factory at Perambur and the Railway Coach Factory at Kapurthala have decided to use bio-toilets in sleeper and AC coaches. Six hundred toilets have already been fitted in 150 coaches.

Passengers on express trains Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi which have LHB coaches, will have to wait longer as bio-toilets for these coaches are still in the planning stage. These trains use the Control Discharge Toilet System (CDTS), in which the night soil gets discharged only after the train attains a particular speed to prevent at least the station areas from being affected.

The Delhi division aims to install 3,000 bio-toilets in 750 coaches in this financial year. “Bio-toilets will be installed in coaches under other divisions of Northern Railway in the next phase,” said a railway official. These new-age toilets have been designed along with the Defence Research and Development Establishment. A special bacterium is released in the night soil. The bacteria then consume this soil and releases non-corrosive neutral water. The bacteria can thrive without external help. The green toilets not only prevent discharge of excrement on tracks and maintain cleanliness but will also help do away with manual scavenging.

To prevent choking, the toilet has got a tank inlet with a valve, which can be manually operated to clear any blockage.