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Goodbye to stinking train toilets! Indian Railways bringing a cleanliness revolution with special bio-toilets

Devanjana Nag

Indian Railways brings cleanliness revolution with bio-toilets in trains! In recent years, several steps have been taken by Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways towards Swachh Bharat. Under this initiative, to eliminate the direct discharge of human waste, generated in train coaches, onto rail tracks, bio-toilets have been installed by Indian Railways in its passenger-carrying coaches. With these types of toilets, onboard accelerated digestion, as well as disposal of human waste from trains, is ensured. According to data provided by the national transporter, with just a total of 57 bio-toilets in 31 coaches in January 2011, now more than 2.2 lakh bio-toilets have been installed by Indian Railways, covering nearly 61,500 passenger carrying coaches. One very positive impact of bio-toilets is that passengers don’t have to use stinking toilets in trains!

We take a look at some of the salient features of bio-toilets and how they are ensuring hygienic toilets in Indian Railways trains:

  • Bio-Vacuum: With this system, human waste is discharged into a biodegradable tank. The system reduces the consumption of water as well as bad odour, enhancing the passenger experience. According to Indian Railways, bio-vacuum is generally used in aircraft.
  • Trolley-mounted mobile sewage evacuation machine: This is used for disposal of bio-toilet waste from train coaches. The machine evacuates the first chamber of the bio-digester tank in case of choking and also increases the efficacy of the bio-toilets system. Moreover, no physical contact of workers with faecal matter is required.
  • Dustbin and Steam trap: In all bio-toilets, stainless steel dustbins are provided for disposal of garbage, napkins, bottles, etc. While the steam trap senses the difference in steam and liquid draining out from the pipeline, the automatic valves ensure that the bio tank does not overflow. Also, it removes condensate as well as non-condensate gases without losing any live steam.
  • Wireless automatic clog detection system: This helps in automatic detection of choking in toilets. The system enables real-time rectification of chocking through dedicated on board cleaning staff. The sensors installed in this system detects chocking and alerts on board staff immediately through SMS.