A social media post claims that, earlier governments have ignored the issue of cleanliness of railway toilets, and it is only during the current government after 2014, that the issue is acknowledged, and railway coaches were equipped with bio-toilets. The post compares an image of a railway tract filled with litter with that of an image showing a clean track, as a symbolic representation. Through this article let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.
Claim: Bio-toilets are introduced in train coaches only after 2014.
Fact: Indian Railways in collaboration with DRDO, developed the existing bio-toilet system in 2010. And by June 2014, Indian Railways have installed 11,777 bio-toilets in 4356 passenger coaches. Hence the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.
According to a Lok Sabha response as on 25 March 2022, more than 2.5 lakh bio-toilets have been installed in Indian Railway coaches, catering to the need of more than 100 lakh passengers on a daily basis.
Moreover, as per the latest news reports, Indian Railways is aiming to replace the existing toilets in trains with upgraded ones with better amenities. As a pilot, Indian Railways has introduced an AC coach with four newly designed bio-toilets in Ranchi Rajdhani.
Bio-toilets were introduced in 2010:
It is true that the equipping of rail coaches with bio-toilets has increased after 2014. However, it is not the current government which introduced these bio-toilets, but the previous government. It is during the previous Congress led UPA regime (2009-14), Indian Railways introduced these bio-toilets.
An MoU was signed between the DRDO and Ministry of Railways, to work together to develop a bio-toilet system for use in Indian Railway coaches. Subsequently, this IR-DRDO collaboration developed an anaerobic bio-toilet, tailor made to Indian railway passenger coaches. And Bundelkhand Express became the first rake to be equipped with bio-toilets in January 2011.
4356 train coaches equipped with bio-toilets by June 2014:
Accordingly, the 2012 railway budget envisaged to equip 10000 bio-toilets in 2500 coaches. Further in 2014, the then government has announced its plans to equip the entire fleet of passenger coaches with bio-toilets by 2021-22.
And by 30 June 2014, Indian Railways have installed 11,777 bio-toilets in 4356 passenger coaches. Details of the trains in which these toilets have been installed can be seen here.
Thus, these details imply that, contrary to the claim made in the viral post, it was the previous Congress government that initiated the replacement of old toilets with bio-toilets.
To sum it up, Bio-toilets in railways were introduced by the Congress led UPA government in 2010.