Ramesh praises DRDO developed bio-toilets

Bhubaneswar: Union Minister Jairam Ramesh on Sunday praised the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for producing bio-toilets for use by civilians, mainly in rural areas, besides developing missiles. The Rural Development Minister said the DRDO developed green toilet project is proposed to be introduced in 1,000 gram panchayats (GP).

The benefit of this technology can bring a significant change in the quality of life of people, especially in rural areas, and help them lead a healthy life through proper sanitation, he said during a visit to Odisha for the launch of the novel project at Dhamra in Bhadrak district. "The DRDO, which had been focusing on developing missiles, aircraft and other weapon systems, has now come out with bio-toilets using a unique technology," he said.

Lauding DRDO for the effort, Ramesh said his ministry is committed to improve sanitation facility in rural areas across the country. Aiming at discouraging open defecation and improving sanitation conditions, bio-toilets are based on DRDO`s Bio-Digester technology. It has been developed by its Defence Research and Development Establishment (DRDE), Gwalior, and Defence Research Laboratory (DRL), Tezpur, sources said.

Bio-Digester technology was used to decompose biological waste generated by soldiers deployed in high altitude regions like Siachen and Ladakh, they said. Adapted for use in all terrains, the bio-toilets degrade and convert human waste into usable water and gasses in an eco-friendly manner. The effluent coming out of these toilets is odourless and harmless and can be used for gardening and irrigation, they said.

About 1,000 Bio-Digester toilets are proposed to be installed in different parts of Odisha in a phased manner, they added. Highlighting the technical aspects and features of the technology, W Selvamurthy, Chief Controller, R&D, at DRDO`s Life Sciences and International Cooperation, said it is a cost-effective solution to the mega problem of water pollution and health hazards due to open defecation.

Among other benefits, the gas generated from Bio-Digesters can be utilised for energy and cooking purposes, defence scientists said. This involves a process wherein bacteria help in the production of methane gas by breaking down human excreta, they said.

"The Bio-Digester technology developed by DRDO is the Indian solution to a global problem. It is a perfect alternative to flush and forger toilets," according to S Radhakrishnan, Director, Industry Interface & Technology Management, DRDO headquarter. This can save huge money spent in waste management and sanitation for any government while ensuring a healthy life for its people, he said.