To meet the target of 100% sanitation by 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is coming up with new ways to boost ‘Swachhta’ or cleanliness.
One of its most ambitious plans is to overhaul the sanitation system in the Indian Railways by introducing bio-toilets.
“We have got special grant of Rs. 1,155 crore for installing bio-toilets in trains which will result in taking Swachh Bharat Mission a step forward ensuring cleanliness,” says Railway Board Chairman AK Mital.
The Railways plan to make its entire rail network ‘discharge-free’ by September 2019. (Read More: 85,000 Bio-Toilets In Trains Commissioned: Suresh Prabhu)
What are Bio Toilets?
A Bio-toilet looks exactly like a regular toilet but operates differently. A regular toilet has a septic tank, which collects waste and disposes it through a pipe into the sea.
Whereas, in bio-toilets, the septic tanks are replaced by ‘bio-digesters’ which can hold up to 8,000 litres of human waste.
Speaking to Mid-Day, Founder and CEO of Banka BioLoo, Namita Banka added, “Bio-toilets are the best low-cost, hygienic sanitation option available in India. We have explored a lot but we didn’t come across any cheaper alternative to the bio-toilet system yet.”
Benefits Of Bio-Toilets
One of the major benefits of bio-toilets is of course that they save on water which is great for our already stressed water supply. Another advantage is that the waste is decomposed safely and without odor. More so, the only by-products of the waste treatment process are pathogen-free water and bio-gas, both of which can be re-used. Extra brownie points for being cost effective.
“Bio-toilets will be fitted in all new and existing trains and all railway lines in due course will be made completely free from human excreta,” added Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday at a function in New Delhi to inaugurate 175-km track of green train corridor.Till date, the Indian Railways has provided around 48,000 bio-toilets since 2015 in about 14,000 passenger coaches.