Southern Railway introduces voice system to instruct passengers on how to use bio-toilets
Given that public participation is crucial for the successful functioning of train bio-toilets, Southern Railways has installed voice systems which instruct passengers on how to use these eco-friendly toilets. Since dumping garbage into the commode clogs up the system, instructions relating to proper disposal of waste have been included in the recorded voice messages. Bio-toilets do not discharge human excreta directly onto the tracks; microbe-treated byproducts which are not harmful to the environment alone are released outside.
Kolkata has the smelliest public toilet in India: Survey
A survey conducted by a popular travel site has revealed Kolkata to be the city with the worst public toilet infrastructure followed by Delhi and Chennai. Travellers were found to be extremely unhappy with the state of public toilets, demanding more numbers and better maintenance. Data was collected from 10,000 travellers and close to 70 percent of those surveyed has admitted to changing holiday locations based on the place’s apparent cleanliness and hygiene levels.
Garbage lie rotting in Bandhwari waste treatment plant
The defunct Bandhwari waste treatment plant currently houses close to 20 lakh tonnes of garbage with waste continuing to pile on by the day. The plant was shut down in 2013 following a fire and ever since a colossal amount of solid waste has accumulated at the site. Experts say that segregating garbage at source is the only option available. By doing that, wet waste can be composted and reused while dry waste can be picked up by rag-pickers. A new model sewage treatment plant is expected to go live by 2018 at Bandhari, the permission for which has already been granted by the state government.
NGT raps Delhi for false data on solid waste management
Based on a complaint filed regarding the Okhla waste-to-energy plant, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has come down heavily on the state government and municipal corporations of Delhi for furnishing incorrect data on the state of solid waste management in the city. The bench has requested details regarding the method and the quantum of waste segregated at present. The residents of Okhla have been fighting for the plant’s closure due to the immense air pollution caused from large-scale burning of solid waste.
Funds to get rid of smelly toilets
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has partnered with Firmenich, a Switzerland-based perfume company to develop an odour-blocking fragrance to get rid of smelly toilets. Many pit latrines, especially in India, lie unused due to bad odour arising from them over time. The to-be-developed fragrance is expected to block out certain unpleasant odours arising from toilets by selectively blocking our olfactory senses to certain smells. This is expected to get rid of the associated disgust and push toilet use up in developing countries.
This is a roundup of important sanitation related news published between November 19 and 25, 2016.