India’s first Green Rail Corridor was inaugurated by Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu on Sunday. It is the 114 km long Rameswaram-Manamadurai track in Tamil Nadu.
All trains on this route will have bio-toilets to ensure zero discharge of human waste on the track. These include 10 passenger trains, consisting of 286 coaches. There are 14 stations on this section.
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The minister inaugurated the corridor through video conferencing between Chennai and Rameswaram station and said that the ministry is working towards providing bio toilets in all trains in India. Till March 2016, 35,104 bio-toilets were installed in various trains and the number increased by 7,000 since then till last week. The ministry’s target is to provide 30,000 new bio toilets in the year 2016-2017.
This is another step by the Ministry of Railways towards the `Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ and to meet its ambitious target of providing bio-toilets in all coaches by September 2019. In the coming days, Okha-Kanalas (141 km), Porbandar-Wansjaliya (34 km) and Jammu-Katra (78 km) sections will be made human waste free as well.
In coaches with bio toilets, human waste is collected in tanks below the toilets and is decomposed by a consortium of bacteria and then the water is discharged on the tracks. The technology has been developed jointly by Indian Railways and Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO) through a MoU.