Manipal University student Vinod Anthony Thomas, a tenth semester student of Faculty of Architecture won the second prize in a competition of the Indian Railways organized by Research Designs and Standards Organization, Lucknow. The competition was for designing waterless and odorless toilets in trains. The jury comprising experts from the Railways, industry and academia/research fields announced the results on June 14.
The toilet designed by Vinod does away with problems in the existing system of disposal of human waste on the tracks. His project also mentions that the existing model of toilets are not subjected to effective flushing resulting in the accumulation of dirt and therefore the foul smell.
His design is meant to replace the system of flushing toilets with water by a conveyor system carrying waste in hermetically sealed pocket to a large collection bin to store waste and is run manually by a crank wheel. The bin has been designed in a way to reduce the amount of waste by way of decomposition and forced ventilation (evaporation of water).
Meanwhile, stepping up efforts to make environment better, the Railways has set a target to install bio-toilets in all coaches to ensure the entire rail network as zero discharge zone by 2019.
According to the action plan, the Railways will install 1.40 lakh bio-toilets in about 55,000 coaches in the next three years. About 37,000 bio-toilets have already been installed till now.