Bhubaneswar, July 21 :
Indian Railways plans to eliminate direct discharge type toilet systems from its entire fleet of passenger coaches by March 31, 2022, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has been informed.
In December 2013, Odisha-based human rights campaigner Akhand had filed a petition stating that the railway toilets contribute to a major chunk of open defecation as faeces is thrown on the tracks.
Acting on the complaint, the commission had directed the Railway Board chairman to file a report, Akhand told IANS.
The board’s Director, Mechanical Engineering (Development) B.K. Jha had recently submitted his report to the NHRC, he said.
According to the report, the Indian Railways has done extensive trials and experiments with all the available technologies and decided to fit and proliferate design of bio-toilets made by it and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) based on their results.
The railways has fixed over 7,000 bio-toilets in 2,774 coaches till December 2013, the report said.
“While the Indian Railways is making all efforts to see that all coaches are fitted with bio-toilets, the task of fixing them on nearly 50,000 coaches is an enormous one,” the railways said in its report, a copy of which is with IANS.
“The India Railways is envisaging to eliminate production of all types of new passenger coaches with direct discharge toilet systems by 2016-2017 and plans to eliminate such toilet system from its entire fleet of passenger coaches by 2021-22 provided no technical or operational set back is experienced,” it said.