"Efforts are on for installation of green toilets in trains and field trials are on for the purpose. These newly designed eco-friendly lavatories are likely to be manufactured in Nagpur," a senior railway ministry official said.
The proposal for manufacturing green toilets in Nagpur is likely to find a mention in the railway budget on February 25. However, local railway officials say they have no communication about it.
Talking to TOI, Central Railway divisional railway manager (DRM) D K Sharma said, "It's true that railways is carrying out field trials for various types of green toilets and some work is going on in this direction, but I don't have exact knowledge about it."
A section of railway officials said trials are going on for eco-friendly controlled discharge toilet system, zero discharge toilet system and bio-toilet based on bio-digester technology to be installed in all passenger trains. At present, Duronto Express has controlled discharge toilet system.
Trials for bio-toilets based on bio-degradable technology are being carried out in Bundelkhand Express between Gwalior and Varanasi. These bio-toilets are in use in Siachen," they said.
Agencies have reported that eco-toilets will be manufactured in Nagpur but has not stated who will do it. Satish Wate, director of National Environment Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), which has expertise in the technology, denied NEERI doing the job for railways.
Vanrai is another agency, which has successfully implemented the project of public sanitation in Pandharpur and Baramati in 2008 at the time of 'Ashadhi Ekadashi' where 7 to 8 lakh Varkaries come together and create hazard to sanitation. However, Girish Gandhi, trustee of Vanrai, denied any knowledge about it. "We are not doing it," he told TOI.
Project in collaboration with lIT Kanpur:
Sources told TOI that Nagpurian Vinod Tare of the Indian Institute of Technology (lIT) Kanpur has undertaken the project to provide eco-friendly toilets to railways, as announced in 2008 railway budget.
When Tare came to know about the successful projects of public sanitation at Pandharpur implemented by Vanrai, he visited and discussed the project. However, Tare was not available for comments.
The railways had signed a MoU with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for development of bio-toilets for rail coaches. Rail tracks get corroded because of the discharge from toilets and the new design green toilets would prevent the damage to the tracks.
What are eco-toilets?
Toilets in Indian trains are so terrifying that many passengers don't drink or eat anything during the entire journey, some even take pills to induce constipation. A far greater trauma is to stand on the platform trying to avoid the sight of human droppings on the tracks. The eco-friendly toilet does not allow the refuse to fall on the tracks. Instead, it is collected in a retention tank which is fixed below the railway coach floor. The capacity of the retention tank is 900 litres, which is twice the capacity of the overhead water tank provided by the railways in every toilet. The prototype of this eco-friendly toilet was developed in 2000. Its interiors are similar to the current train toilets. The retention tank is provided with a small vent at the top of the coach so that the gases generated in the tank escape into the atmosphere. The system requires fitting of an underground drainage facility at stations to discharge the wastes.
Source - Times of India