INDIA’S Research Design & Standardisation Organisation, IIT-Kanpur and the Defence Research Development Organisation are studying the use of bacteria to treat waste in toilet retention tanks, as part of a campaign by Railways Minister Laloo Prasad to improve on-train toilets.

The three research bodies are adapting military technologies developed to support Indian troops on the remote Siachen Glacier where control is disputed with Pakistan.

Tenders are to be called for the supply of 80 imported retention toilets for an on-train pilot project, which will assess how the much-higher temperatures found on trains will affect bacterial perfomance.