New Delhi: The Indian Railways has provided about 1,25,000 bio-toilets in its coaches till March 2018, beginning with the introduction of 57 bio-toilets in one train i.e. Gwalior-Varanasi Bundelkhand Express in January 2011, said the Railways in a statement on Thursday. It added that this has covered about 60 percent of coaching fleet of Indian Railways.

During 2017-18, IR has installed highest ever bio-toilets in coaches which is 40 percent higher than the set target of 40,000 bio-toilets and 64 percent higher than the fitment of 34134 bio-toilets in 2016-17. Presently, Indian Railways have commissioned and is operating 27 sections as Green Corridors. All the trains plying on these sections are running with all the coaches equipped with bio-toilets. Thus, there is no direct discharge of human waste from the trains running on these Green Corridors.

“Bio-Toilet project” of Indian Railways is an innovative & indigenous development of technology. This technology is first of its kind being used by any railroad in the world for On-board accelerated digestion of human waste. These bio-toilets are fitted underneath the lavatories and the human waste discharged into them is acted upon by a colony of anaerobic bacteria that convert human waste mainly into the water and a small number of biogases. The gases escape into the atmosphere and wastewater is discharged after chlorination onto the track. Human waste, thus, does not fall on the railway tracks thus improving cleanliness and hygiene at platforms, and facilitate track and coaches maintenance staff to perform their work more efficiently.

The technology for Bio-toilets have been indigenously innovated, designed and has been developed jointly by Indian Railways’ Engineers & DRDO’s scientists. It is one example where the technology developed for defense applications has been utilized for the civilian purpose. Adaption and large-scale deployment of the technology have been facilitated by collaboration between DRDO, RDSO and the field units of Indian Railways.

As per estimation, approx. 4,000 MT of human waste is discharged from train coaches every day. With the proliferation of bio-toilets in 60 percent, commensurate human discharge in open from coaches has been eliminated. The statement further urged that in addition to earnest efforts being put in by Indian Railways, the success of this important project largely depends on the co-operation of its valued customers/ passengers by not throwing any inorganic material like paper, bottles, paper/ plastic cups, polythene, napkins, nappies, cloth, ghutka pouches, cigarette/ bidi  buds etc. in toilet pans/ bowls.