Bio-toilets / ELOO / Bio-digester / Bapu Toilets

Recently, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has launched its Bio-digester, christened as bio-toilets from Dhamara (Odisha) near the Wheeler Island test facility from where it used to test launch long-range missiles like Agni and AAD interceptors.

The Bio-digester, named as ELOO (eco-friendly loo) is said to be the perfect alternative to the current ‘Flush and forget’ toilets. It is expected that bio-toilets can save billions of dollars for any government in waste management and to ensure good health for all.

  •  It degrades and converts the human waste into usable water and gasses in an eco-friendly manner. The generated gas can be utilized for energy/cooking and water for irrigation purposes.
  • The process involves the bacteria, which feed upon the faecal matter inside the tank, through anaerobic process which finally degrades the matter and releases methane gas that can be used for cooking, along with the treated water.

Notable Points

  • Over 60 percent people in India still prefer open defecation due to non-availability of toilets. While out of 2.40 lakh Gram Panchayats only 10 percent GPs are declared as Nirmal Panchayats.
  • The figure is dismal in Odisha where only 280 GPs are announced as Nirmal Panchayats out of 6300. Other states, with poorest sanitation facilities, include Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.
  • Sikkim is the only state where all citizens have access to toilets.
  • As per Jairam Ramesh, Kerala will soon be the second one in the country and we aim to make all the GPs in the country Nirmal Panchayats within next 10 years under the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan scheme
  • Earlier, Government was providing Rs 3500 to each BPL family to set up toilets. Now it has been enhanced to Rs 10,000 to each family irrespective of their economic background.
  • Rural Development ministry has signed MoU with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to produce eco-friendly toilets. Initially, the DRDO has decided to set up the bio-toilets in 1000 GPs across the country and the RD ministry would spend nearly Rs 400 Cr for the purpose.
  • The toilets cost only Rs 15,000 each and are cheaper if built for clusters.
  • The government has requisitioned 12,000 units for 10 islands in Lakshwadeep and the Railways 10,000 units for trains to make the tracks clean.

The Bio-digester technology has been developed by Gwalior based Defence Research and Development Establishment (DRDE) and Tezpur based Defence Research Laboratory (DRL. The technology was used to decompose biological waste generated by soldiers deployed in high-altitude regions such as Siachen and Ladakh. The ELOOs can effectively function in extreme conditions and temperature ranging from – 6 degree C to 50 degree C.

Bapu Bio-Toilets

Mr. Ramesh applauded the role of DRDO scientists in developing the bio-toilets, which are based upon bio-digester technology. He suggested that the bio-toilets could be named ‘Bapu’, as the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi had always stressed on sanitation in rural areas of the country.

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