“Bio-toilet project” of Indian Railways , UPSC PRELIMS 2015

RELEVANCE – UPSC GS PRELIMS & GS MAINS III
First go through the text (given after the questions) and then attempt the questions
UPSC PRELIMS 2015

QUES . With reference to bio-toilets used by the Indian Railways, consider the following statements:
1. The decomposition of human waste in the bio-toilets is initiated by a fungal inoculum.
2. Ammonia and water vapour are the only end products in this decomposition which are released into the atmosphere.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

ANSWER . (d) Neither 1 nor 2

Bio-toilets in Indian Railways

The “bio-toilet project” of Indian Railways is first of its kind, being used by any railroad in the world for on-board accelerated digestion of human waste.

The bio-toilets in trains are installed underneath the lavatories and the human waste discharged into them is then acted upon by a colony of anaerobic bacteria. Further to this, the bacteria converts the human waste mainly into water and small amount of bio-gases, which escape into atmosphere and waste water is discharged after chlorination onto the track. Thus, the human waste does not fall on the railway tracks.

The ‘Make in India’ bio-toilets in Indian Railways, have been developed jointly by Indian Railways’ Engineers & DRDO’s scientists. The initiative is one of the examples where the technology developed for defence applications has been used for civilian purpose.