Bio-toilets in Indian Railways

To eliminate the previously open discharge toilet system, a zero discharge Bio-toilet system with ventilation has been adopted for coaches of Indian Railways.

This was conceptualized during the year 2006. Further, the design has been evolved along with DRDE (Defence Research Development Establishment) after adequate trials and the same has been proliferated in coaches with minor modifications as per requirement

Initially, complaints regarding choking of bio-toilets in coaches were investigated and it was found that it was largely due to passengers throwing non-Bio-degradable items like plastic bottles, Huggies, teacups, papers/polythene bags, napkin, etc. in the toilet pans because of their unawareness about the provision of Bio-toilets in respective coaches which were resulting in choking and foul smell.

Accordingly, various steps were taken by Railway over the period of time for improvement. Some are enumerated as below:

  1. Display of instructions in coaches to spread awareness among passengers.
  2. Stickers/stainless steel plates were pasted/fitted on lavatory doors and inside coach lavatory to inform the passenger about the installation of Bio-toilet and about its proper use and not to throw any waste material like bottles etc in lavatory pans.
  3. The original design of Bio toilets of the coach was fitted with P-trap. Subsequently, the design was changed to the S trap.
  4. The regular announcement over PA system on stations is also being done.
  5. To eliminate the foul smell, Venturi type toilet ventilation systems are being provided in coach toilets.
  6. To further address the issue of the foul smell in coach toilets and remove waste from toilet pan to Bio-tank, Bio-Vacuum toilet systems have been developed and are being fitted/retrofitted in coaches.
  7. On-Board Housekeeping Staff (OBHS) have been sensitized to make the toilet clean and to remove chocking enroute.
  8. Rail Madad, a sole Indian Railway portal is working for passenger grievance redressal. The complaints received through this portal related to Bio Toilet are being timely resolved.

88 Numbers of Railway Stations have been provided with Bio-Toilets on Indian Railways.

This press release is based on the information given by the Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Shri Piyush Goyal in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.

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