Manipal University student Vinod Anthony Thomas is in news for winning the second prize in an-India competition of the Indian Railways. Thomas a tenth semester student of Faculty of Architecture clinched the second prize at the competition organized by Research Designs and Standards Organization, Lucknow.
He bagged Rs 75,000 as prize money. The second place was shared by another designer, Rahul Garg and team member Saurabh Hans. The competition was for designing waterless and odorless toilets in trains.
According to a Manipal University release, “Ten entries were shortlisted and the designers had to present their projects to the jury, comprising experts from Railways, industry and academia/research fields, on May 31, 2016. Vinod’s design was adjudged the second best in the results announced on June 14, 2016.”
“Vinod designed a toilet which does away with problems in the existing system of disposal of human waste on the tracks. His project also mentions that the existing model of toilets are not subjected to effective flushing resulting in the accumulation of dirt and therefore the foul smell,” the release said.
His design is meant to replace the system of flushing toilets with water by a conveyor system carrying waste in hermetically sealed pocket to a large collection bin to store waste and is run manually by a crank wheel. The bin has been designed in a way to reduce the amount of waste by way of decomposition and forced ventilation (evaporation of water), the release said.
Director, Faculty of Architecture, Professor Nishant H Manapure said, “Vinod has brought laurels to Manipal University by bagging the second prize at the important competition. It’s first of its kind for FOA and am hopeful the students will showcase their talent in future also.”
Meanwhile, stepping up efforts to make environment better, the railways has set a target to install bio-toilets in all coaches to ensure the entire rail network as zero discharge zone by 2019.
According to the action plan, railways will install 1.40 lakh bio-toilets in about 55,000 coaches in the next three years.
Railways has installed about 37,000 bio-toilets in coaches till now.