Bio-toilets in trains choke passengers


Bio-toilets in trains going from Bengaluru City Railway Station to the south are in pathetic condition as they are clogged halfway through the journey.

By Vivek Madhu

Bengaluru: The South-Western Railways have continuously received complaints about the bad condition of bio-toilets in trains that connect Bangalore City Railway Station and the southern parts of the country. Passengers are sick of the foul smell coming from the toilet sink which gets clogged often during long journeys.

The installation of bio-toilets, replacing the ordinary ones, started in 2015. By 2018, Indian Railways installed more than 1 lakh bio-toilets in trains. Bio-toilets made sure that no human excreta is thrown on railway tracks and to prevent harmful gases to spread inside the train.

Raushan Kumar, Divisional Commercial Manager of the South-Western Railways said that above 95 per cent of the trains leaving from City Railway Station have bio-toilets installed in them.

 However, “the situation in trains heading to Chennai, Trivandrum and Coimbatore lack cleaning of toilets during the journey making the condition worse.” said an officer in City Railway Station.

The city railway station has launched the Automatic Coach Washing Plant (ACWP) recently,that will clean 24 coaches in less than 15 minutes. But the real issue with the passengers is yet to be resolved.

Rahul Raj, a daily passenger from KSR Bengaluru to Salem, said, “The toilets of Kochuveli Express do not function properly. The water from the toilet sink overflows and makes our feet dirty.”

The Kochuveli Express was the first train to have bio-toilets installed.

“The primary function of the bio-toilets is to convert human waste into biogases and water, thereby reducing the harmful emission of smell and also to provide a healthy journey to the passengers,” said Sandeep, an environmentalist.

He added, “After reaching a limit, bio-toilets cannot function properly because the water level rises in the sink which causes disease.”

“They clean bio-toilets only at the end of every journey. It is the passenger’s duty to keep it clean so that they can use it until the journey is completed.” Said ex Station Master of Kengeri Railway Station, Mr. Suresh Kumar.