By 2019, coaches in all of India’s trains will be fitted with bio-toilets.
A Railway official said that the task, which was originally scheduled to finish by year 2021, will be completed two years ahead of schedule.
Confirming the news, Hemant Kumar, a Railway Board member, said
“By 2019, all 55,000 coaches of Indian Railways would be fitted with 1,40,000 bio-toilets…As of March 31, 2016, we have installed around 35,000 bio-toilets in 10,000 railway coaches and are quite confident of achieving this target.”
Bio-toilets were introduced in Indian Railways in 2014, replacing the old toilet seats with open bottoms.
The open bottoms led to excreta getting dumped on the railway tracks itself.
The unhygienic practice has not only been bad for travellers, but has also been corroding the tracks.
The bio-toilets were introduced for the Indian railways under the Swachh Rail-Swachh Bharat (Clean Rail-Clean India) programme. The initial deadline for the task to phase out old toilets was by 2020-21.
According to estimates by RITES, Indian Railways generates 6000 tonnes of solid waste on an average every day, out of which about 4,000 tonnes of human waste is dumped directly on the rail tracks.