Manipal University Student Designs A Unique Toilet For Indian Railways, Bags Second Prize


While train journeys are mostly comfortable, the only terrible thing about travelling in a train is the dreadful smell of its toilets. The railway ministry has been on a constant spree to keep these toilets clean but has not quite successful.

Recently, Indian Railways decided to go ahead with a new plan to solve this problem. It conducted a public competition to design a waterless and odourless toilet for Indian trains.


This all-India competition was held by Research Designs and Standards Organisation, Lucknow, and out of the many entries, 10 were shortlisted where designers presented their unique projects to the judges on May 31.

Its results were announced on June 14 and Vinod Anthony Thomas’ design was adjudged the second best design. His designed was considered unique and applicable. He was also awarded a prize money of Rs 75,000 for his innovation. No reports have yet emerged on who topped this competition.

A 10th semester student of Faculty of Architecture in the University, Vinod invented an exceptional toilet design that eradicates the existing problems of dirty toilets and the system of waste disposal on railway tracks. He finds this system as “unhygienic, unethical and damaging to the environment” and has developed a system that replaces the conventional flush system. The new method prevents generation of foul smell by replacing the old flush system with a new conveyor system that will carry waste in a hermetically sealed pocket and collected in a large bin that will be run manually by a crank wheel.

The collection bin is designed in such a way that reduces the amount of waste by way of decomposition and forced ventilation (evaporation of water).

The design seems promising and we hope that it is soon implemented by the Indian Railways. Once done, it will hopefully be a huge relief to the train travellers.