Dumping of toilet waste from trains into the open

The Ernakulam Permanent Lok Adalat, on Thursday, directed Railways and the Pollution Control Board to give their view on a petition seeking a directive to Railways to prevent dumping of toilet waste from running trains into the open.

The petition complained that the waste was neither collected nor treated before being dumped into the open environment. The petitioner, D.B. Binu, a lawyer, said the practice had an adverse effect on the health of the people. Human excreta contained a large number of germs that could cause diarrhoea, cholera, typhoid, and other parasitic infections.

The petitioner said railway tracks often passed above roads, rivers and backwaters in the State. The railways overbridges did not have a mechanism to prevent waste from falling into the rivers or on the roads. Despite a High Court directive, Railways were yet to put in place green toilets.

The petitioner contended that Railways were bound to install pollution control and waste disposal mechanism to scientifically treat the waste before it was dumped into the open. He said aircrafts made use of modern technology for treating human waste. The waste was collected, kept in a tank and disposed of scientifically after landing. This kind of technology was easily available. All the railways in the world, except Indian Railways, used the technology.

The petition sought a directive to Railways to take steps to set up green toilets, and make the Ernakulam and the Kottayam railway stations garbage free.

Keywords: toilet wastesewage

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