IR’s 15-day Railyatri Upbhokta Pakhwada 2015: Rameswaram goes Green, gets more Bio-toilets fitted rail coaches

Rameswaram (RMM): Following the recent announcement in the railway budget to make Rameswaram a green station, the Madurai railway division has started allotting more bio-toilet fitted coaches to the station.

One of the important pilgrimage centres attracting lakhs of pilgrims from across India, Rameswaram is well connected with major North Indian destinations by rail. Out of the 145 coaches maintained in Rameswaram, 78 are fitted with bio-toilets, said Divisional Railway Manager, Sunil Kumar Garg said during the Indian Railway’s 15-day Railyatri Upbhokta Pakhwadan 2015. The remaining coaches too would be fitted with bio-toilets soon. Out of the 778 coaches used in Madurai division, 177 coaches are already fitted with bio-toilets, the DRM said.

According to railway officials, the main advantage of bio-toilets is that human excreta will not spill on to the tracks and spoil the station premises when the train is stationary.

The outlet of the lavatory is connected to a bio-digester with six chambers where the excreta is made to go through a series of changes with the help of innoculum bacteria culture – filled periodically as and when necessary – in a slow process by which the bacteria reacts with the excreta converting it into methane gas and water. At the end, the water is chlorinated and then allowed to fall on to the track thus protecting the environment.

However, maintenance staffs face issues with bio-toilets since passengers are not sufficiently sensitised about their use. Discarding papers, polythene bags, sanitary napkins, plastic bottles and cloth rags choke these toilets. On Tuesday, the division held a day-long exhibition on bio-toilets with the intention of sensitising travelling public as part of passenger and customer facilitation fortnight.

Meanwhile, a yoga camp was organised at Rameswaram by the personnel department for 40 railway staff which was conducted by volunteers of Art of Living on Wednesday as part of the customer facilitation fortnight.

A passenger road show with union leaders as brand ambassadors was organised by the personnel and commercial departments at Rameswaram where volunteers of scouts and guides staged a road show for creating safety awareness among the passengers and public. About 150 people witnessed the road show, according to railway officials.

At Madurai junction, a signal safety seminar was organised by the signal and telecommunication department for signalling staff. About 30 officers and staff from signal maintenance took part in the seminar.

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