Letter to BS: Railways aiming to install bio-toilets in all trains by 2019

It is good to read the news that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government aims to have bio-toilets in all trains in India by 2019. On July 27, 2012, the then Minister of Rural Development and Sanitation, Jairam Ramesh, had said, “Indian rail is the world’s largest open pit toilet.” The effort of the NDA to have 100 per cent coverage for bio toilets will fulfil the dream of the former United Progress Alliance minister of making the Indian Railways system open-defecation free. 

A look back into the history of biogas will help here. Tushar Moulik of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, had visited China in 1981 as the member of a delegation from India to study the efforts made by that country in developing bio-gas technology. After his visit, he wrote a book called Mao’s China and found that while China learned about the gobar gas technology from India in the late forties, China upscaled it 1,000 more times and made it a bio-gas technology which includes all bio-degradable waste, along with the night soil. This broke the barriers of castes, if at all China had a caste system.

The present work of the Indian Railways is also a step in the right direction and all political parties and news media should support it without complaining.

Chandrashekhar G Ranade, USA

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