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Green toilets to be introduced in trains

Bhopal: A city-based engineering major has inked an agreement with a Denmark-based firm and the Defence Research Organisation to develop `green toilets` for railways in a bid to keep trains, platforms and tracks clean and free from filth and corrosion.

"Under the railways ambitious green toilet scheme two types of toilets based on vaccum and bacteria technology would be installed in trains in order to keep them green and clean," Daulat Ram Industries Chairman and Managing Director, Satish Sharma told PTI here today.

The toilets which will function on vaccum technology would be installed in Rajdhani and Shatabdi express trains as per the plan of the railways while biological (bacteria) based toilets would be installed in other trains, he said.

Vaccum toilets are like those at present operational in aeroplanes in which you need to collect the waste at terminal points and make arrangements for their disposal, Sharma said. "It is good for aeroplanes and AC trains but not for the other types of trains for which the railways have decided to install biological toilets."

"The railways have made a provision of nearly Rs 800 crore for installing vaccum and biological toilets in trains in a phased manner," Sharma whose units were producing several crucial parts for locomotives and air-conditioners among others for railways since 1973, said.

For producing vaccum toilets the company has inked an agreement with Denmark-based Glova company while for making biological toilets it has borrowed the technology to produce bacteria from Defence Research and Development Establishment (DRDE) with a cost of Rs 25 lakh.

The company will also pay royalty to DRDE for using this technology to produce bacteria, which will convert the waste material into liquid form and dispose of safely when the train reaches an isolated places. "This will help railways in keeping the stations neat and clean and also tracks free from corrosion as reported by a panel recently," Sharma said.

The vacuum toilets will be produced in both Indian and Western style to give people a choice to use them as per their convenience. Maintaining that a vacuum toilet would be costly as compared to the biological ones, he said adding the company would also offer maintenance services to the railways. Though the tenders for awarding contract for producing green toilets is under process, the company has made elaborate arrangements for their production at its existing facilities in Bhopal.

The life of a bacteria is about 72-hours and after that they would be replaced with fresh ones at the terminal points. The company will supply these bacterias to railways as they are produced with the help of cow dung. The cost of producing a biological toilet would be about Rs one lakh per unit while that of vacuum it would be around Rs 1.50-1.75 lakh, he added.

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