Vinod Anthony Thomas, a student of Faculty of Architecture, Manipal University, has clinched the second prize in an all-India competition organised by Research Designs and Standards Organisation, Lucknow.
A press release issued by the university here on Thursday said that in keeping with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat initiative, Indian Railways had decided to hold a public competition to design waterless and odourless toilets in trains. The objective was to design such toilets for operation and maintenance. The jury included experts from Railways, industry and academia. As many as 10 entries were shortlisted and the designers had to present their projects to the jury on May 31.
Vinod Thomas’ design was adjudged the second best in the results announced on June 14. He has bagged Rs. 75,000 as prize money, having shared the second spot with another designer, Rahul Garg and team member Saurabh Hans.
Viond Thomas, a 10th semester student, designed a toilet which does away with the problems in the existing system of disposal of human waste on the tracks, which, according to him, is “unhygienic, unethical and damaging to the environment”.
His project also mentions that the existing models don’t have effective flushing, which results in the accumulation of dirt and therefore, the foul smell.
His design introduces a system of waste management that prevents generation of foul smell by replacing the flush system with a conveyor system carrying waste in a hermetically sealed pocket to a large collection bin. The system is run manually by a crank wheel. The bin is designed in a way to reduce the amount of waste by way of decomposition and forced ventilation (evaporation of water).
“My design is simple and minimalistic, with importance given to hygiene, neatness and ease of use,” Vinod Thomas said.
Nishanth H. Manapure, director, Faculty of Architecture, said that Vinod Thomas had brought laurels to the university by bagging the second prize in such an important competition. “It is the first of its kind for the Faculty of Architecture,” he said.