Having spent nearly Rs 1,370 crore on 136,985 railway bio-toilets–criticised for being “no better than septic tanks”–and after earmarking Rs 250 crore to install bio-toilets on remaining trains by March 2019, the railway ministry is now considering “upgraded” vacuum bio-toilets at a cost of Rs 6,250 crore.
“We have started experimenting with vacuum bio-toilets like those in an aeroplane,” Railway Minister Piyush Goyal told PTI. “Some 500 vacuum bio-toilets have been ordered and once the experiment is successful, I am willing to spend money to replace all the 2.5 lakh toilets in the trains with vacuum bio-toilets.”
Vacuum toilets, which cost around Rs 2.5 lakh per unit, will be odour-free, will cut down water use by 1/20th and have fewer chances of getting blocked, he added. This takes the cost to Rs 6,250 crore.
In addition, vacuum toilets will need to be emptied and cleaned in rail yards. As of 31 May, 136,965 bio-toilets have been fitted in 37,411 coaches, at a cost of around Rs 1 lakh per toilet, according to railway ministry officials quoted by PTI. This brings the expenditure to about Rs 1,370 crore. Read More
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