The minister earmarked 4,000 crores in this budget for introducing eco-friendly toilets, similar to airplane, in 36,000 passenger coaches. Railway ministry has already started work in this direction.
THE RAILWAY minister Lalu Prasad Yadav
presented 2008-09, Railway Budget in parliament the other day with pomp and fair. His misses and former Bihar
chief minister Rabri Devi hailed the budget and said Lalu Prasad Yadav is the best railway minister India
had seen ever. The railway made profit of 9,000 crore in 2005, 14,000 crore in 2006, 20,000 crore in 2007, 25.000 crore in 2008 and projected a profit of 37,000 crore in 2009. He announced many sops in the budget and flagged off the Poll Express. The one, which most attracted me, is introducing the eco-friendly toilets, called green toilets, in all passenger trains.
The minister earmarked 4,000 crores in this budget for introducing eco-friendly toilets, similar to airplane, in 36,000 passenger coaches. It is welcoming news and all will be congratulating the minister. However, this project will be implemented in a phased manner and completed by the end of the 11th Plan. The 11th Five Year Plan started in 2007 and completed in 2012. This means a waiting period of another four years to have eco-friendly green toilets in 36.000 coaches.
The railway ministry has already started work in this direction. According to the railway minister, over the next four years annually 1000 crore would be pumped in for Green Toilet project. The irony is the railway ministry has yet not studied properly and finalised, which model green toilet to be adopted. Presently two different models of discharge-less toilets are experimenting in Delhi
Reva Express and Barauni Express.
Two techniques are being studied. First, having biological decomposition mechanism on board and the other one to empty the tank (like in planes) at big stations where the sewage would be treated before discharge.
Unless any decision is taken immediately on, which model green toilet to be adopted in coaches, proper arrangements for treating and discharging the sewage are made and workers are trained to handle green toilet sewage, the project will remain in paper only. Concrete steps should be taken as soon as possible in this direction.
Further, the rail ministry should immediately introduce, equally both model green toilets in at least 720 coaches, which is merely two per cent of the proposed 36000 coaches, of long distance trains such as Jammu
Tawi -Thiruvanathapuram Express, Hazrat Nizamuddin – Thiruvanathapuram Express, Rajadhani Express, Shatabdi Express, Kurla -Thiruvanathapuram Netravati Express, Mumbai
- Kanyakumari Express, New Delhi
Express, Mumbai - Chennai Express and Mumbai Nagarkovil Express.
After close monitoring the functioning, both techniques make the feasible study report within three months. Next, finalise the technique and introduce green toilets in 36000 coaches before December 31, 2008. If it worked, that would be something remarkable and then I will call it the real Lalu magic!