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How Zero Discharge Toilet Systems can solve India’s sanitation woes

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By Rituparna Chakrobarty

In the rail budget, the Government had announced its plans to convert regular toilets into biological ones. To help government over come this challenge, Indian Institute Of Technology(IIT)-Kanpur’s Dr. Vinod Tare worked on this idea and came up with  Zero Discharge Toilet System which not only saves water but also converts human waste into fertilizers.

‘Ministry of Indian Railways approached Dr. Vinod Tare of Indian Institute Of Technology(IIT)-Kanpur and asked to develop biodegradable toilets which  avoid direct dumping of fluids on the tracks and cause less pollution. The institute invented Zero Discharge Toilet System (ZDTS), but since then no government body has approached us.’ said Rakesh Mishra, deputy project manager at IIT-K.

‘If these toilets are adopted soon into the railways then it would be a big step towards clean environment under the Swachch Bharat campaign,’ Mishra added.

What is ZDTS?

ZDTS stands Zero Discharge Toilets, and are different from other toilets which are used in houses and offices. Normal toilets discharge the effluents or water but ZDTS does not discharge any fecal matter or water or anything through it.

How does it work?

ZDTS collects all the fecal matter which is then vermicomposed. The waste becomes organic fertilizer and is free from pathogens. The amount of water which is used for flushing is very minimal and the used water gets stored into the tank for reuse. These toilets are mobile as well as stationery.

Cost and maintenance

About the cost, Mishra said that the installation charges vary from place to place like from community toilets, public toilets to railway toilets.

While talking to NewsGram, Mishra said that after the completion of ZDTS project with collaboration from UNICEF, these toilets were installed as community toilets in Aligarh for two years.

Greatest Achievement

During Maha Kumbh at Allahabad in the year 2012, approximately 300 such toilets were installed which were used by 3000-4000 people on daily basis. In 2015, on the occasion of MaghMela at Allahabad these toilets were used again to save the water body from getting polluted.

At present Samnvay, an NGO has taken the initiative to promote these toilets and help in operating and maintenance.

 

 

 

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