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An Andhra Pradesh-based Scientist has developed a cheaper alternative to bio-toilets. The technology will collect toilet waste that would be easy to maintain and would cost seven times lesser. The Union Science and Technology Ministry said that the Indian Railways would use these toilets. The existing bio-toilets in passenger trains use anaerobic bacteria in the process of converting human waste into gas. The bacteria are not suitable to decompose cloth and other plastic waste dumped in the toilets, and the maintenance of this undecomposed waste is difficult.
Dr RV Krishnaiah from Chebrolu Engineering College developed an automated system that collects waste from running trains. After that, the waste is segregated, and usable material is processed. The technology has been granted five national patents in the testing phase and is developed with support from the Advanced Manufacturing Technologies programme.
The system would be embedded under the train tracks, and when the train approaches, the septic tank lid would automatically open using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Sensor. The reader for the sensor would be placed on the engine and septic tank position. After mutual synchronization between both systems, the septic tank would drop the waste from these toilets, and when the train would pass, the tank's lid would automatically close. The waste would then be separated into human waste and other waste like plastic bags and cloth material and processed.
The news agency ANI published the Ministry of Science and Technology statement that "This technology has been developed targeting the Indian Railways specifically with the aim of cost reduction to obviate the necessity of time-consuming anaerobic bacteria generation." The existing bio-toilets in passenger trains cost nearly Rs 1 lakh per unit, and the recent technology would cut the cost to Rs 15,000 only. Dr Krishnaiah has collaborated with MTE industries to upscale the technology.
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