GUWAHATI, June 10 - The Maligaon-headquartered Northeast Frontier Railway is planning to fit bio-toilets in all the trains operated by the zone by 2019-20.
NFR officials said that at present 543 coaches in trains operated by the NFR are fitted with bio-toilets.
�Altogether 1,711 bio-toilets have been fitted in 543 coaches so far. The NFR is targeting 100 per cent installation of bio-toilets in trains operated by the zonal railway by 2019-20,� said an NFR official.
In the current fiscal year of 2016-17, the zone is looking to install 2,350 bio-toilets in various trains.
Asked about the cost factor, the official said, �The cost of one unit or one tank is about Rs 1 lakh. Along with the cost of bacteria charging, the total cost will be about Rs 1.2 lakh per unit. Every coach has four toilets.�
The Indian Railways first introduced bio-toilets in January 2011 in the Gwalior-Varanasi Bundelkhand Express. Since then, about 35,000 bio-toilets have been fitted in about 11,000 coaches across the country.
�Newly manufactured coaches have 100 per cent bio-toilets from this year,� said the official.
Railway sources said that bio-toilets are simple in design, easy to maintain and can be retrofitted in coaches.
�Anaerobic bacteria are able to withstand a wide range of temperatures from sub-zero to 600 degrees Celsius. They do not require forced aeration and can operate within a small area,� said the official.
Another feature of bio-toilets is that there is no significant bio-mass generation and no disposal of waste into the environment.
�What we use in the Indian Railways is a completely indigenous technology. There is no precedence of similar technology being used in any other railway system,� he said.
The discharge from toilets is collected inside SS bio-digester tanks.
�Human waste digested by anaerobic bacteria gets cultivated inside tanks. These bacteria are benign to humans. In the process, a liquid effluent and gases like carbon dioxide and methane are generated, which are released into the atmosphere,� said the NFR official.
He added, �Effluent is further treated with chlorine tablets which ensures reduction of pathogens by 99 per cent and other organic matter by 90 per cent.�