One of the worst things about travelling in an Indian train is the awful smell of the toilets that one has to endure.

But since Indian Railways has been on a reform spree these days, it decided to address this issue by holding a public competition to design waterless and odourless toilets in trains.

A typical Indian train toilet/Source: http://indiatogether.org/

This all-India competition was organised by Research Designs and Standards Organisation, Lucknow, and as many as 10 entries were shortlisted where designers had to present their projects to the jury on May 31.

When the results were declared on June 14, Vinod Anthony Thomas’ design was adjudged the second best and soon he was all over the news for his innovation. Not only that, he was also awarded Rs. 75,000 as prize money.

His innovation was shared by Manipal University, which is based in Manipala, Karnataka, on their Facebook page:

Vinod is currently a 10th semester student of Faculty of Architecture at Manipal University. According to the University, this is why his design was prize-worthy:

  • His toilet design does away with the problems in the existing system of disposal of human waste on the tracks, which, according to him, is “unhygienic, unethical and damaging to the environment”.
  • His design introduces a system of waste management that prevents generation of foul smell by replacing the flush system with a conveyor system carrying waste in a hermetically sealed pocket to a large collection bin and is run manually by a crank wheel.
The design which won Vinod the prize/Source: Manipal University/Facebook

  • The bin is designed in a way to reduce the amount of waste by way of decomposition and forced ventilation (evaporation of water).

We hope his design is soon implemented by the Railways. That will be a huge relief for the travelers, really!

No reports have yet emerged on topped this competition.