Almost 2 lakh complaints of choking, foul smelling bio-toilets

As per a report by CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General of India), Railways received almost two lakh complaints regarding choking, foul smelling and non-functional bio-toilets in passenger trains in 2016-2017.

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In its report on ‘Induction of bio-toilets in passenger coaches in Indian Railways’, CAG stated that out of 613 trains being handled in 32 coaching depots it audited, 160 trains did not have bio-toilets. The remaining 453 trains that had 25,080 bio-toilets, there were 1,99,689 instances of complaints or deficiencies.

With all these complaints, the major and the most common problem for passengers was choked bio-toilets (1,02,792 complaints). This was further followed by complaints of foul smell (16,375),
non-functional toilets (11,462), non-availability of dustbins (21,181), non-availability of mugs (22,899) and other complaints like ball valve failure and wire ropes (24,980).

The report has said that 1,02,792 cases of choking in 25,080 bio-toilets imply “that one bio-toilet got choked four times in a year during 2016-2017.” During 2015-2016, for 24,675 bio-toilets, 61,088 cases of choking were seen.

“This shows that instances of choking of bio-toilets increased in 2016-2017 and needs to be addressed,” it said.

The ministry has said that this matter is being dealt with firmly, but the choking problem is the result of misuse of bio-toilets by passengers. It further added that stainless steel dustbins were prone to thefts.

Officials said that Railways is already considering replacing the existing bio-toilets with the bio-vacuum ones, which will be odour free and will also cut down water usage by one-twentieth. These bio-vacuum toilets will also have much lesser chances of getting blocked. Click here to read more about this upgrade.