New Delhi, Oct 19 (IANS) Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday said that bio-toilets will be fitted on all new and existing trains to maintain cleanliness and hygiene.
"Bio-toilets will be fitted in all new and existing trains and all railway lines in due course will be made completely free from human excreta," the minister said at a function here to inaugurate 175-km track of green train corridor.
"Earlier we have launched green corridor track in south India and today we are launching it in west India."
A green corridor track is free from human waste, which earlier resulted in track corrosion. This is made possible by installation of bio-toilets on passenger trains.
The minister inaugurated the 141-km Okha-Kanalus route and the 34-km long Porbandar-Wansjaliya sections. The railways also fitted nearly 700 coaches of 29 trains with bio-toilets.
Sharing the challenges in installing the bio-toilets in passenger trains, Prabhu said: "It is quite easy to put new bio-toilets in the new train but converting the old toilets into bio-toilets without affecting its running is the biggest challenge."
"We have also given the contract of building 85,000 bio-toilets in trains," Prabhu added.
According to the Ministry of Railways, 14,000 bio-toilets have already been installed till date in 2016 and 16,000 more will be fitted on passenger trains by the end of this fiscal year.
Earlier on July 24, 2016, the 114-km Manamadurai-Rameswaram stretch of the Southern Railway became India's first 'green corridor'.
Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha said the railways will soon have more green corridors in the coming years.
"These stretches were selected as there were very few trains on these routes, we will also launch green corridor on busiest routes soon," Sinha said.
Subsequently, the 78-km Jammu-Katra section would be taken up in the programme. It would be completed by March 2017.
Till date, the Indian Railways have provided around 48,000 bio-toilets on about 14,000 passenger coaches.