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All coaches in Tiruchi railway division fitted with bio toilets

No more stench: Bio toilets have bio digesters which decompose human excreta collected in the tanks.

Tiruchi has become the first railway division in the Southern Railway zone to have successfully accomplished this exercise that was carried out as per guidelines of the Ministry of Railways and as per instructions from the Southern Railway headquarters.

Installation of bio toilets in passenger coaches would ensure hygiene and prevent discharge of human excreta directly on the railway tracks which would result in corrosion of track fittings, besides polluting the environment, say railway officers.

In accordance with guidelines stipulated by the Railway Ministry, the Southern Railway headquarters decided to replace flush type toilets in all its passenger coaches with bio toilets and instructed all the six railway divisions: Chennai, Tiruchi, Madurai, Thiruvananthapuram, Palakkad and Salem to carry out the conversion in their respective rakes.

A railway official said the Tiruchi division commenced the work in June 2017. The works were carried out at the coaching complexes in Tiruchi and Villupuram (as it comes under Tiruchi division) on rakes coming for daily maintenance. The remaining coaches were sent to Golden Rock Railway Workshop and Perambur Carriage Works in Chennai. The exercise was completed last month. Bio toilets had been fitted in 482 coaches, including 49 DEMU (Diesel Electric Multiple Units) coaches, said an official.

Bio toilets have bio digesters which decompose human excreta collected in the tanks using specific high graded bacteria and convert it into methane and liquid which is let out. The bacterial consortium has been made through acclimatisation, enrichment and bio augmentation of cold active bacteria collected from low temperature areas.

The primary benefit of bio toilet is that it would eliminate stench emanating from tracks at stations and in open line areas, besides ensuring hygiene at railway stations. It also helps in saving water used for clearing human excreta from tracks at stations.

The system has a better durability and easier maintenance, say officials. The trains maintained at the Tiruchi Coaching Depot include Tiruchi - Howrah - Tiruchi biweekly expresses; Thanjavur - Chennai - Thanjavur Uzhavan expresses; Tiruchi - Thiruvananthapuram - Tiruchi Intercity Expresses; Mannargudi - Bhagat Ki Kothi weekly expresses; Tiruchi - Rameswaram - Tiruchi passengers; and Mayiladuthurai - Tiruchi- Tirunelveli - Tiruchi - Mayiladuthurai passengers, besides DEMU rakes.

The trains maintained at Villupuram Coaching Depot include Puducherry - Kanniyakumari weekly expresses; Villupuram - Kharagpur; Puducherry - Mangalore (via Tiruchi) weekly; Puducherry- Mangalore (via Salem); Villupuram - Purulia expresses, Villupuram- Mayiladuthurai - Tiruvarur passengers; and Puducherry - Villupuram - Tirupati passengers.

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