Indian Railways passengers are tired of stinking, unhygienic and choked toilets in trains!
And, the national transporter seems to have taken notice of this fact, with several steps being announced to keep train toilets clean and to prevent choking.
One such solution which is being tried out by the Western Railway division of Indian Railways is a new machine that is able to suck out waste from bio-toilets and ensure that they are stink-free.
This new machine can clean as many as 180 coaches a month, which is three times the number that the earlier extractor machine could do!
Not only that, the process of removing waste from the bio-toilet and putting the inoculum back into the tank takes just 10 minutes!
On the hygiene front, this new machine for cleaning train bio-toilets requires minimal manual intervention and the chances of spillage are also less.
How does Indian Railways new machine for cleaning train toilets work?
The new trolley-mounted mobile evacuation machine for Indian Railways bio-toilets has a 2.2 KW motor and a PVC tank with dual chamber. The machine first sucks out everything from the bio-tank of the toilet, including the solid waste. While the first chamber of the machine collects the solid waste the inoculum is passed on to the second chamber through a filter. This in turn is pumped back into the bio-toilet. Not only is the evacuation of the bio-tank fully mechanised, but also there is no need to fill fresh inoculum in the toilet separately. The earlier vacuum extractor machine sucked out all contents including the inoculum, hence adding to the cost, with requirement of refilling the tank with fresh inoculum.
With the old vacuum extractor only 60 train coaches a month could be cleaned. According to Western Railway, now toilets of as many as 540 coaches can be cleaned in a quarter! The regular evacuation of bio-toilets would go a long way in preventing choking and also eliminating the foul smell that emanates from long use. According to Indian Railways, the new evacuation machine for bio-toilets costs around Rs 14 lakh including maintenance charges over a period of 5 years.
Indian Railways plans to install bio-toilets in all its trains by March 2019. One of the most common problems with the bio-toilets is choking and stink due to inefficient flushing and passengers throwing garbage into the toilets. While the problem of choking will be dealt better with the new machine, Indian Railways is now experimenting with aircraft-like bio-vacuum toilets to ensure better flushing.