On Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan’s first anniversary, the country will witness two railway routes free of human waste. Be ready to welcome them – the same routes, minus the stench.
This October, it will be a year since the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan was first launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. And as an anniversary gift, Indian Railways has come in with some great news.
On the mission’s first anniversary, railway tracks, over a stretch of 175 km, will finally be free of human waste. This will be made possible with the installation of bio toilets on all trains running on two routes.
Photo Credit – Flickr
Thus, from October 2nd 2015, these two routes will become “zero toilet discharge” routes:
1. The 141 km Kanalus – Dwarka-Okha section
2. The 34 km Porbunder – Wansjalya section
This is a part of an endeavour undertaken by Indian Railways to make 375 kilometres of rail track free of all human waste discharge from train toilets, in the current fiscal year.
By March 2015, the railway department had already installed more than 17,000 bio toilets in trains, and is targeting more before the end of this year. This will mean that each one of about 40 trains which currently ply on the 375 km route will have bio toilets in their coaches. With the help of these toilets, waste is directly digested by specially developed bacteria which then leads to only a small amount of non-corrosive neutral water being discharged on the tracks in the end. The installation cost for four such toilets comes to around 3 lakh rupees and about 6,000 coaches are all equipped with these.
The current discharge of waste directly on the tracks leads to corrosion which in turn leads to crores being spent on replacement. With the requirements of our trains in focus, these green toilets have been designed by Railways along with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
Thus, we can expect the impossible-to-stand stench and the filth to be gone from at least a stretch of the 65,000 km-long tracks across the country. An important next step will be a responsible and mature utilisation of these toilets. When a cleaner toilet option in trains is finally being provided, it’s best if we grab it in a way that the process can be sustained for long.