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No Fear No Favour

Railways to compete against airlines; To introduce vacuum based toilets

Toilets in railway coaches will no longer be stinky or blocked, for Indian Railways intends to roll out 100 coaches with imported bio-vacuum toilets—that are on par with ones in aeroplanes—by January 2018!

As the countdown to New Year begins, Indian Railways has chalked down better plans for passengers and aims to take the passenger travel experience a notch above with bio-vacuum toilets that do not just cut down on water consumption but also have lesser chances of being blocked, owing to dumped waste.

The present bio-toilets have been eliciting quite a lot of complaints regarding their upkeep and poor services.

Besides, the toilet cubicles would often end up with a revolting stench and be overflowing with human waste because of the lack of timely maintenance.

According to The New Indian Express, the new vacuum toilets were put to the test in the newly launched premium train Tejas, following which, the decision to install these in other trains was given the nod.

“To start with, Chennai-based Integral Coach Factory (ICF) will roll out 100 coach sets fitted with bio-vacuum toilets starting January 2018. Initially, these toilets will be fitted in AC-I and AC-II tier coaches of select trains like Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto,” said a senior Railway ministry official.

While a regular toilet or bio-toilet consumes 10 to 15 litres of water per flush, the vacuum toilet consumes only 500 ml of water during each flush. “A bio-vacuum toilet has a suction pump that sucks waste without need for much water to flush it. This will also help in containing the foul smell as bio-digesters will eat up the waste,” the official added.

As the fitments are being imported, the cost of vacuum toilets is higher, but the railway authorities have tied up with manufacturers to eventually set up engineering units in India to meet the demands.

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