The former dean of the Industrial Design Center at IIT-Bombay has developed waterless toilets to reduce open defecation
and improve hygiene in our country.
Dr. Kishore Munshi, has developed Dry San Hygienic Rural Toilet, which is a waterless system where waste doesn’t have to be flushed.
The project was started in 2011 and was complete by 2014. Dry San converts waste material, which otherwise pollutes land and water bodies, into a resource (fertilizer from urine and manure from solid waste) for the farmer. The conversion is done by non-chemical and natural aerobic decomposition, facilitated by a patented design. Also, no gasses are formed in Dry San’s underground pit which otherwise are poisonous and can lead to explosions. Munshi says:
“If a family of five uses this toilet every day, they can open the pit once in eight or 10 years to clean the decomposed waste, which can easily be used as fertilizer.”
One of the first such units was placed at a labour camp next to the IIT Bombay campus, where women labourers and their children have been using it.
“After a year, it’s still functioning well. BMC authorities have also touched base with us to place such toilets in slums that are not accessible to the main drainage system of the city,” Munshi said. The project specifically developed for rural India, where the dearth of water is a major issue, got financial support from the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, along with CTech, an IIT-B incubated designed company. It comes in various dimensions, along with an easy manual. Building one Dry San toilet from scratch can cost up to Rs.
70,000, including labour charges. This cost can be reduced if they are built in bulk. Munshi said:
“Flush-toilets and sewerage systems not only involve huge infrastructure and high maintenance costs, they also cannot ensure a clean environment. In case of failure, they pose a far greater risk to public health and environment, which is more likely to happen in rural, semi-urban situations.”
Unlike flush-toilets which have ceramic tiles, the Dry San uses stainless steel – easy to use and maintain.