Achieving a milestone in resolving the problem of human waste that is often found lying on railway tracks in the country, the Bhopal-based Department of Mechanical Engineering has developed a scavenging vehicle that removes human excreta lying on railway tracks.
Developed with support from the advanced manufacturing technologies programme of the Department of Science and Technology, the self-propelled road cum rail vehicle equipped with dry and wet suction systems, air and water spraying nozzles, control system, and road cum rail attachment is multifunctional and easy to operate.
A display unit is provided for real-time control of the cleaning under a drastically changing environment. It requires only one person along with the driver to carry out the automatic cleaning of the railway track.
Once the dry and wet suction is over, the water nozzles start spraying water jets to clear off any human waste or semi-solid garbage present on the track floor. Another set of nozzles spray disinfectants on the track to get rid of flies, rats, and other insects.
Water jets completely remove the human waste and other wet garbage from the inter rail space zone. Both dry and wet garbage are collected in different tanks, and once filled, it can be decanted at appropriate local municipal garbage collection points.
A joystick-controlled telescoping suction pipe is fitted to clear the slurry from the trench parallel to the track. The telescoping suction pipe can easily be placed at an appropriate position in the side trench to suck the sewage slurry.
The rail cum road vehicle can be used as a material and garbage transport vehicle from track to road by Indian railways. It can also be used as maintenance/inspection vehicle and disinfectant spraying vehicle by Indian railways.
In non- scavenging mode, it can also be used as a transportation and inspection vehicle by Indian railways.
After successful development and testing, the developed vehicle can be adopted by Indian railways as a scavenging vehicle for all of its stations. The developed vehicle having low maintenance cost, compact size, reverse and forward movement, and continuous and intermittent action, make it better and effective as compared to existing research endeavours.