Loco loos going green

Published: Wednesday 31 January 1996

WHEN everything from paper to refrigerator is going green, can toilets be far behind? Indian railways are introducing eco-friendly toilets on trains. Thanks to the new toilets fitted with a device that induces bio-degradation, railway tracks will be much cleaner. The 'bio-toilets' have been made by the railways' Integral Coach Factory based near Madras.

According to a railway ministry official, the toilets have tanks to collect the waste, bio-degrade it and discharge only a non-obnoxious and hygienically safe liquid on to the track. The waste is converted into clear water and gas through bacteriological degradation. The bio-toilet has a tank, filter beds and exhaust outlets for the gas and provision of chlorination of the discharged water. A vent in the tank lets out the gas and the water is disposed off in the next flushing. An indigenously developed toilet set for a coach costs about Rs 1.5 lakh. The first coach fitted with such toilets was inducted on the Alleppey Express in the last week of December.

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