HindustanTimes Fri,31 Oct 2014

Swarna Shatabdi, Palace on Wheels to get vacuum toilets soon

PTI  New Delhi, November 17, 2013
First Published: 20:44 IST(17/11/2013) | Last Updated: 20:48 IST(17/11/2013)

Now, gear up to use newly-designed washrooms fitted with vacuum toilet system, similar to the ones in planes, as the railways is planning to introduce it on the Delhi-Amritsar Swarna Shatabdi and Palace on Wheels.


"Swarna Shatabdi will be the first train in Indian Railways to have vacuum toilets. As part of a green initiative undertaken by the railways, 80 new toilets will be fitted in the train," said a senior official in the railway ministry.

Besides, the railways will also replace the existing toilets in the Palace on Wheels, the New Delhi-Rajasthan luxury tourist train, with vacuum toilets for better sanitation and hygiene.

"The introduction of vacuum toilets in Swarna Shatabdi is being undertaken on a pilot basis," added the official.

The railways have floated global tenders for installing vacuum toilets in the Shatabdi at a cost of Rs. 25 crore. "Five multinational companies, including two from Germany, one each from the US and China, have evinced interest in manufacturing and installing the system," he added.

"Approval has been sought from the civic authorities to make the vacuum toilet system operational, as it entails construction of safety tanks and sewerage link for the disposal of waste," the official said. The coaches will be fitted with vacuum toilets at the Kapurthala coach factory.

"All luxury trains will be equipped with green toilets. The exercise has begun for the Palace on Wheels," said the official.

"The cost of retrofitment of vacuum toilets on luxury coaches in the Palace on Wheels will be borne by the Rajasthan government," he added.

Environment-friendly and vacuum-based toilets prevent corrosion of rail tracks as they stop waste discharge on the tracks. Currently, premier trains such as Rajdhani and Shatabdi are equipped with controlled discharge toilet system which prevent disposal of waste at stations.

"Waste is automatically discharged after trains pick up a minimum speed of 30 km per hour," said the official.

Besides vacuum toilets, the railways will also introduce bio-toilets, based on a technology by the Defence Research Development Organisation, in mail and express trains.

comment Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of
blog comments powered by Disqus
more from Chandigarh

New Delhi, 1984. New York, 2014.

In my parent’s bedroom is a framed photo that seems a bit out of place. The small image has an aged yellow tint and displays my father at the young age of 24, standing proudly atop the GB Pant Hospital in New Delhi, India. He looks just as I do now. Tall, skinny, his not-yet full beard kept neatly on the sides of his jaw as he sports a clean pair of glasses and a neat turban matching his shirt. That year (1984), my father was in his medical residency pursuing a specialty in anesthesiology. His eyes shine of dreams of the success that would come from his hard work in the future. However, what could not be captured in the photograph is what my father had seen in that year, 1984. Writes Manmeet Singh Gujral
Copyright © 2014 HT Media Limited. All Rights Reserved