With an aim of replacing all existing toilets with the newly designed ones, the Indian Railways has made the upgraded washrooms operational in Ranchi Rajdhani Express, on a pilot basis.
Seeking feedback from passengers, an AC coach with four newly designed bio-toilets is now part of the Ranchi Rajdhani Express.
Besides washrooms, the doorways and gangways have also been re-modelled to provide improved facilities during the train journey and to enhance passenger amenities, with focus on cleanliness and hygiene.
“We are collecting feedback from passengers to make further modifications if required as the plan is to replace all existing toilets with the newly designed ones,“ said a senior Railways Ministry official.
The Railways receive maximum complaints against existing toilets on account of hygiene, bad odour and malfunctioning of the system.
While all Rajdhani toilets would be replaced with the upgraded ones in the first phase, other services including Mail/Express would be included phase wise.
The colour combination, lighting arrangement, panelling, door and vestibules have gone for a complete makeover, giving a new look to the washroom and doorway.
It cost about Rs 10 lakh to remodel four toilets with the upgraded facilities. Besides toilets, new design has been introduced in the doorway and gangway also, to make it wider.
Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw visited New Delhi station in January to inspect the new uplifted version toilets. He instructed them to replace the existing ones with the modern systems in all coaches.
According to the Railways, the target is to install the new design toilets in all coaches beginning with 6,000 coaches a year.
The new designed toilet is equipped with automatic hygiene and odor control system. Water taps and soap dispensers are touch free sensor-based systems and special care has been taken to make it an anti-pilferage arrangement.
‘The Railways get maximum complaints about uncleaned non-functional toilets and foul smell in train toilets. All these problems have been addressed in the newly designed systems,’ the Railways maintained.
Currently, almost all trains are equipped with a bio-toilet system while trains like Vande Bharat are fitted with a vacuum system.
With toilet upgradation, the Railways is trying to improve the hygiene and enable efficient functioning of the train service.