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(Source: The Financial Express)

New award-winning ventilation system: What Indian Railways is doing to address problem of stinking bio-toilets

If you find it difficult to travel in Indian Railways due to the fear of stinking toilets then this news is likely to cheer you up! To address the problem of stinking bio-toilets, Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways has come up with a new cost-effective solution.

The South East Central Railway zone of the national transporter has introduced a natural draft induced ventilation system (NDIVS) in toilets, according to a TOI report.

On August 2, the NDVIS by the South East Central Railway zone was awarded the first prize of Rs 3 lakh from the Railway Board under the ‘Suggestion scheme of best innovation 2017-18’. Moreover, Ashwani Lohani, Chairman, Railway Board has also directed all the zonal managers to implement this innovation.

Lalit Dhurandher, senior divisional mechanical engineer (Sr DME) for co-ordination who was quoted in the report said that in order to get rid of the problem of bad odour, the NDIVS has been developed at the coaching depot in Bilaspur. In NDIVS, two funnels facing forward as well as reverse direction have been provided under coach floor and they are attached to the coach toilets through plastic pipes. The two holes, which have been provided for in and outflow of air also act as a drain. Therefore, the system proves to be of a great help in case of choking of bio-tank, Dhurandher said. The senior divisional mechanical engineer also said that the modified ventilation system has been installed in 50 coaches after several trials in coaches.

According to Sharvari Deshmukh, assistant professor with VNIT’s department of science and technology, the system provides cross ventilation. The fresh air is drawn in by the running train from outside. Then the fresh air dilutes the bad odour and removes humidity as well as purges out from the toilet compartment, Deshmukh added.

Indian Railways has set the target to install bio-toilets in all the coaches by the year 2019. However, since the national transporter started fitting bio-toilets consisting of tanks beneath, the natural ventilation earlier available through commode chute was completely blocked. Because of this, there were frequent complaints about the bad smell emanating from the toilets, the report stated. Even, as per the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) report published in December 2017, there were around two lakh complaints from the public related to foul smelling, choking and non-functional bio-toilets in trains.

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