Passengers on long-haul trains will soon be saved from the stink from the coach toilets with Railways kicking off a green initiative in the State on Thursday to introduce “odourless” and hygienic bio-toilets aboard.
Train no. 16316/16315 Kochuveli-Bangalore Express has become the first train from the State and in Southern Railways to have bio-toilets on all compartments. The rake has arrived at Kochuveli.
The Gwalior-based Defence Research and Development Establishment developed the green toilet system and technology.
Railway sources told The Hindu that the first prototype rake with bio-toilets had been running successfully on Bundelkhand Express since January 18, 2011.
Railways were expected to manufacture 2,500 bio-toilets this fiscal.
Unlike traditional toilets which discharge waste on the railway tracks, the new toilets treat the waste in a tank underneath. Anaerobic bacteria in the tank convert the waste into harmless gas and water. This will not only improve the environment but also help prevent corrosion of the rails, an official said. The water passing through the chlorine tank is discharged as clean water and the gas escapes into the atmosphere.
One shot of bacteria can serve up to 18 months if managed properly by the passengers and the cleaning staff. The Kapurthala coach factory makes the new-age toilets, which cost over Rs. 1 lakh apiece.
The staff of the Thiruvananthapuram division have been trained to maintain the rake. The success of the system largely depends on how passengers use it. They are advised not to put bottles, plastic refuse or napkins into the bio-toilets.