In order to achieve zero discharge of human waste on the tracks, Indian Railway plans to fit Bio Toilets in all trains. Western Railway has already provided Bio Toilets in 468 coaches along with dustbins and will be provided in future in more coaches in a phased manner.
The human waste in Bio Toilets is biologically degraded by anaerobic bacteria and converted to water, methane and carbon dioxide. Therefore unlike traditional toilets which discharge waste on the railway tracks, the new bio toilets treat the human waste in a tank below the coaches where it is converted into water and harmless gases. The leftover in the tank is free from harmful germs.
Bio toilets are not only environment friendly but also prevent damage to the railway tracks due to corrosion as well as improve aesthetics at railway stations. However, bio toilets often get choked and become non-functional due to throwing of objects like plastic bottles, paper cups, cloth rags, polythene/plastic bags, gutka pouches, nappies etc.
Passengers have an important role to play in the success of bio toilets. It is important that bio toilets are not used as garbage bins and waste such as plastic, bottles, polythene, pouches, cloth pieces, nappies etc. are not be thrown in the toilet. Also, the toilets are not to be used when the train is on the station. Indian Railways is working towards the long terms objective of replacing the traditional train toilets with green toilets i.e. bio toilets.