Railways will set up three bacteria generation plants as part of its effort to equip more coaches with bio-toilets in trains for eco-friendly waste disposal.
Railways have set a target of installing bio-toilets designed by DRDO in 2,500 coaches in the current fiscal.
Bacteria plants will be set up in Kapurthala, Chennai and Nagpur as there is a huge requirement for anaerobic bacteria for an increasing number of coaches with bio-toilets, said a senior Railway Ministry official involved with the bio-toilet project.
"Currently we are procuring bacteria from DRDO but we have to generate on our own to meet the requirement for all coaches," he said.
Bio-toilets are being fitted in all new LHB coaches manufactured in Rail Coach Factory at Kapurthala and conventional coaches will also be equipped with these toilets in a phased manner, he said.
In bio-toilets, anaerobic bacteria converts human waste into water and gases (methane and carbon dioxide).
Currently bio-toilets have been provided on trial basis in Gwalior-Varanasi Bundelkhand Express, Jammu Tawai-Indore Malwa Express, Chennai-Guwahati Egmore Express, Nizamuddin-Indore Intercity Express, Indore-Gwalior Express, Mumbai-Varanasi Mahanagri Express, Lucknow-Mumbai Pushpak Express and Kochuveli-Bangalore Express.
The first train to be fitted with bio-toilets was Gwalior- Varanasi Bundelkhand Express in January last year. The latest train to be equipped with these new toilets is Kochuveli- Bangalore Express.
Field trials on these trains are successful, the official said.
The problem of environmental degradation and corrosion of tracks has been a cause of concern for the Railways. Corrosion costs Railways more than Rs 350 crore every year.
Railways have set up a core committee which is working out details to undertake fitting bio-toilets in about 50,000 coaches of the national transporter.