At last, news came which would put up a smile on the face of thousands of Indian citizens who commute by the Railways. The world’s largest railway network has been directed by the Delhi HC to introduce bio-toilets and rehabilitate the scavengers engaged in the menial jobs.
The highly needed provision came in the wake of a PIL which was filed by the Safai Karamchari Andolan, an association of state-level organizations of manual scavengers across the country.
The bench stated, Railways should seriously think of the rehabilitation of these manual scavengers. The bio-toilets are reported to retain human waste and treat it with bacteria, converting it into gas and water.
It is reported that the railways are slow to implement the Bio-toilets because it will put up an extra burden of Rs 1,600 crore on the Railways Ministry.
A very real and true picture evolves out about the reality of the Indian Railways by the fact that Presently there are about 50,000 coaches in the trains run by the Indian Railways, out of which 43,000 coaches are engaged in the passenger service, this means that there are a total of 1,72,000 toilets which are functioning today using an obsolete machinery and more pitiable is the fact that manual scavengers have to clean the human excreta which is directly discharged on to the railway tracks.
The Court has in a way whipped the Railways to install the bio-toilets as soon as possible and has fixed September as the next hearing day.
REPORT BY BIKRAM SINGH RANA