Why Indian Railways is looking to use Japanese technology in bio-toilets at railway stations

By: | Published: September 17, 2018 11:48 AM

Indian Railways is all set to try Japanese technology in bio-toilets, which is different from those that are currently being used here. Initially, in order to ascertain the efficiency of Japanese technology in bio-toilets in the Indian system, the move is likely to be implemented at a few selected railway stations as a pilot project.

railwaysAs part of the pilot project, Japan will give 150 bio-toilets, which will be installed at various railway stations and not in trains.

Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways is all set to try Japanese technology in bio-toilets, which is different from those that are currently being used here. Initially, in order to ascertain the efficiency of Japanese technology in bio-toilets in the Indian system, the move is likely to be implemented at a few selected railway stations as a pilot project, states an IANS report. One Japanese technology based bio-toilet is already operational at Madgaon railway station in the Konkan railway route and two more such bio-toilets toilets will be installed in the capital and Varanasi railway stations, the report claims adding that as part of the pilot project, Japan will give 150 bio-toilets, which will be installed at various railway stations and not in trains.

According to an official, quoted in the report, the extensive use of Japanese technology for bio-toilets will depend upon the results from the first few stations. The Japanese bio-toilet technology is based on sawdust and special churning system that decomposes the faecal matters in the toilet tank, while the Indian bio-toilet technology depends on bacteria-driven process.

Over the years, Indian Railways has faced public criticism for stinking toilets, especially in long-distance trains. As per the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) report in the year 2017, the foul smell was found emanating from as many as 223 bio-toilets. Later, an inspection found a problem with the flushing system and inadequate water supply.

Indian Railways has been stressing on the need to ensure smooth functioning of toilets as some train journeys last for 30 to 40 hours. Indian Railways also plans to test bio-vacuum toilets that will make use of less water and make the flushing system more efficient. The flushing system is similar to the ones used in aircraft, the only difference being that Indian Railways will continue to make use of the bio-digester.

Indian Railways plans to install bio-toilets in all coaches by March 2019. First, the bio-toilets were set up in new coaches and then retrofitted in the old coaches. This is being done at railway workshops in Mumbai’s Parel, Bhopal and Jhansi, the report stated.

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