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Indian Railways have set a huge target of fitting 2,500 coaches with bio-digestive toilets this financial year. Rail Coach Factory (RCF),Kapurthala,has already received the order to fit around 1200 bio-digestive toilets in 500 coaches.
The authorities hope to bring about a dramatic change in the hygienic conditions of the trains as well as the trains stations. The RCF has already rolled out a few dozens coaches with bio-digestive toilets. A total of about 8,000 bio-digestive toilets will be fitted in the 2,500 coaches,added railway sources. The number of coaches with bio-digestive toilets was less then 100 in 2011, said Railway board sources.
Senior RCF officer and secretary to RCF General Manager (GM) Rajneesh Bansal said,Out of the 8,000 toilets to be fitted this year,RCF alone will be installing 1,200 such toilets.
Around 50 coaches were fitted with these toilets for testing purposes, said a senior railways officer. The testing has now concluded and coaches will now be produced with the bio-digestive toilets.
The new system will not only avoid manual scavenging of human excrete from rail tracks but will be far more hygienic as all human waste will be converted into harmless gas and water.
Unlike traditional toilets,which used to throw the human waste on tracks,the new system will treat the waste inside a tank of bacteria which will convert it into harmless gas and water, informed Bansal adding that different types of non-pathogenic bacteria strains are injected in the tanks which digest human waste.
It may be noted that Delhi High Court has said that manual scavenging and indifferent approach of people towards cleanliness on Indian trains is a crime against humanity and the court had asked the Railway authorities to launch a massive campaign to educate the masses about cleanliness on trains.