India's First Green Corridor Rail Route Inaugurated — What's So Special?

Written by: Irwin Mills

The Indian railway industry has witnessed an evolution over the years. From steam engines, electronic bulletin boards, Wi-Fi, quality in-house food services to high-tech train stations. Have you ever wondered what happens to the human waste discharge from trains?

Indian railways suffer from human waste discharge, especially, at the stations/platforms. Have you experienced unhygienic stations?

The Union Railway Ministry is now making efforts to put an end to this problem. Corrective measures have been taken with the inauguration of the first green corridor stretch, between Manamadurai and Rameswaram, which will now be free from human waste discharge.

The Inauguration

The inaugural function was held at the Rameshwaram station. Union Railway Minister, Suresh Prabhu inaugurated the Manamadurai and Rameswaram green corridor stretch through video conferencing in Chennai.

Clean India

Under this program, 4,041 statutory cities and towns are covered. The Manamadurai - Rameswaram rail route now joins the cleanliness drive, and also becomes the first green corridor in India.

The Railways is aiming to contribute to the `Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In this regard, the railways are working to meet its ambitious target of providing bio-toilets in all coaches by September 2019.

The Green Corridor

The 114 km non-electrified track connecting Manamadurai with Rameswaram via Manamadurai, Paramakudi, Ramanathapuram, Mandapam and Pamban will be free from foul smell. This initiative will also enhance the life of the track.

The Number Of Trains

The Manamadurai - Rameswaram section has 14 stations, and the railways have confirmed ten passenger trains consisting of 286 coaches are provided with bio-toilets. This route is used by nearly, 35,000 people daily.

The Technology

The bio-toilets will eliminate open discharge of human waste on the tracks, which will help a great deal to improve cleanliness and hygiene.

The coaches will be equipped with digester tanks which collect human waste and is decomposed by high grade anaerobic bacteria, which is further converted into methane and water and finally discharged.

In The Coming Days

Until June, 2016 the railways has installed 40,750 bio-toilets in its coaches and plans to fit additional 30,000 in this current financial year.

Other notable sections such as Okha-Kanalas (141 km), Porbandar-Wansjaliya (34 km), and Jammu-Katra (78 km) will soon become a green corridor as well. The railways are working on sections which have fewer trains operating, thus making it easier to convert them into green corridors.

DriveSpark Thinks!

The bio-toilets will play a critical role in preventable healthcare and help save water. But, will the Indian Railways be able to maintain these bio-toilets properly?

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Story first published: Friday, July 29, 2016, 18:50 [IST]
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