Sep 08, 2019: Indian Railways is working towards installing in all trains bio-vacuum toilets, similar to what are operational in aircraft.
The railways has developed a new technology for bio-vacuum, in collaboration with the research arm of the Railway Ministry, Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO).
“In the coming days, all coaches will be fitted with the new bio-vacuum toilets, which will work like a vacuum toilet,” Rajesh Agrawal, Railway Board Member, (Rolling Stock), told DH.
Already around 15 trains including a few Rajdhani, Shatabhdi, Humsuffer trains and Vande Bharat Express, are fitted with bio-vacuum toilets.
All new coaches, which are being produced, will have bio-vacuum toilets, he said.
The bio-vacuum toilets save a lot of water. These toilets have a suction pump that reduces the requirement of water. Most vacuum systems flush with just half a gallon (2 litre) of fluid or less compared to bio-toilets, which require up to 15 litre per flush.
“This will help contain the foul smell as well as reduce the use of water,” he said.
The Railways, which so far has fitted 95% of its coaches with bio-toilets, will install vacuum-bio toilets, as a step further to provide-odour free and choke-free facility to passengers, he said.
The bio-toilets, which replaced open toilets in trains, have been prone to clogging due to dumping of waste such as bottles, pouches, plastic cups, paper and other materials in the pans— resulting in foul smell.
The Comptroller and Auditor General in a report in December 2017 had found that almost two-lakh complaints regarding choking, smelly and non-functional bio-toilets in trains from public in 2016-17.