8 billion Indian passengers to use bio-toilets in all railway coaches by December 2018


Indian Railways carries over eight billion passengers a year in 55,000 carriages. Even if a small percentage of this number uses the toilets, the public sector entity sure leaves a whole load of waste for people living along its lines to deal with every day. The human waste that slides onto the tracks as a traveller uses the moving train’s toilet is not only harmful, as it can enter local groundwater systems, but is also a carrier of the deadly polio virus. The water that spills over also corrodes the rails and damages the cement sleepers.

Image source: Daily Mail

Read MoreRailways’ plan to fit all coaches with bio-toilets will help it leave an odourless trail

Keeping all these in mind, the Indian Railway Ministry has decided to introduce bio-toilets in all railway coaches by December 2018, earlier than 2019, as anticipated initially. The largest employer in India plans on achieving 100 percent success in installing these toilets.

These bio-digester toilets completely eliminate the problem of solid waste being emptied onto the ground as it has a two-compartment tank attached below the train toilet. These digesters with bacteria inside them break down the faecal matter into odourless and pathogen-free gas and liquid, which is basically carbon dioxide, methane and water. In the first canister into which the faecal matter falls, the bacteria get to work and fill up the second canister, which can then be emptied anywhere.

According to a report by Odisha TV, a rolling stock member of the railway ministry Ravindra Gupta said,

"Under the dynamic guidance of Minister of Railway Piyush Goyal, the target for 100 per cent completion of installing bio-toilets in coaches has been advanced to December 2018."

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