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Saving water: Now, bio-vacuum toilets aboard Shatabdis

Move aims to reduce wastage of water, foul smell and choking in trains
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By Rachna Verma, Chandigarh
PUBLISHED ON OCT 21, 2019 01:08 AM IST

The bio-toilets in the Chandigarh-Delhi Shatabdi train will soon be upgraded to bio-vacuum toilets. The move comes in line with the Indian Railways decision to upgrade the bio-toilets in all Shatabdis.

Based on an aircraft-like model, bio-vacuum toilets have a bio-digester tank which converts excreta into water, due to which the dumping of solid waste on tracks gets reduced besides wastage of water, foul smell and choking in trains.

Presently, near about 400 gallons of water is filled in tanks of train. On an average a bio-toilet uses 10 to 15 litres of water per flush, while a bio-vacuum toilet consumes around 500ml per flush.

The railways will also replace P-trap pipe of the toilet with an S-trap pipe, which will be more effective in preventing clogging.

Talking about the project, Northern Railways general manager TP Singh said, “We are upgrading the bio-toilets under an eco-friendly sanitation project. Because the project is expensive, we will upgrade toilets in premium trains of Chandigarh in the first phase and later the toilets in other trains.”

A senior official from the railway station said they had already sent a letter to the headquarters for material required to upgrade the toilets.

Green initiatives in the works

Under the Northern Railways plan to go clean and green, the Ambala division will also set up an automatic coach washing unit at the Chandigarh railway station to reduce the consumption of water. Presently, the station is using 3,600 litres to wash a single coach.

Earlier Shatabdi upgrades

Recently, the division had installed the very early smoke detection apparatus (VESDA) in Chandigarh-Delhi Shatabdi express and Kalka Shatabdi express.

The Indian Railways had also changed the dress code for the entire staff on Shatabdis. The male staff has to wear a grey suit with a white shirt and a red tie which carry the Indian Railways logo. The female staff has to wear white salwar suits or blue salwars with white shirts.

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