Following NR, the first train of the Central Railway with bio-toilets commenced operations this week. The Mumbai-Varanasi Mahanagri Express fitted with the bio-toilets hits the tracks on May 3, 2012. The Indian Railways has developed toilets in collaboration with the Defence Research and Development Establishment (DRDE). “Unlike conventional toilets in coaches, the design of the bio-toilet not only does away with manual scavenging but also removes odour and adds to the life span of railway tracks,”says AK Singh, SR PRO.
The toilet has a collection tank provided with anaerobic bacteria to decompose fecal matter and only a colourless, odourless liquid is released from the tank. The tank has seven chambers and the excreta traverses through these chambers and reaches the exit. The resultant water passes through a chlorinated chamber to control its pH level and microbe content. The inlet tank has been provided with a valve which can be manually operated to clear the choke.
Former railway minister Dinesh Trivedi, while presenting the railway budget 2012-13, had also announced the installation of 2,500 bio-toilets.