Without doubt, one of the biggest complaints of travelling in Indian Railways is the condition of the toilets. The Indian Railways, which is trying to implement a few modern initiatives, such as bio and vacuum toilets in trains, held an all-India public competition to design waterless and odourless toilets for trains. Ten designs were presented to the jury organised by Research Designs and Standards Organisation in Lucknow.
Vinod Anthony Thomas, a student of Architecture at Manipal University won the prize money of INR 75000 for his design. The design presented by Vinod prevents the unhygienic human waste disposal on the tracks. The toilets are fitted with a conveyor system that will carry the waste in a hermetically sealed pocket to a larger collection bin. The system is operated manually using a crank wheel.
The waste in the bin decomposes and is forced ventilated so that the water can evaporate, causing a reduction in the volume of waste. Let’s hope this design is quickly implemented by the Indian Railways and we have cleaner, hygienic toilets that would be convenient for everyone to use and better for the environment (by saving water) too.