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Fact-check: Were Bio-Toilets in Railway Introduced Only After 2014 by the BJP?

Bio-toilets were first introduced by the Congress-led United Progress Alliance government in 2010.

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A claim is being shared on social media platforms stating that bio-toilet systems in Indian railways were first implemented under the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government after it came to power in 2014.

Bio-toilets were first introduced by the Congress-led United Progress Alliance government in 2010.

An archive of the post can be seen here.

(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

(An archive of a similar claim can be found here.)

What is the truth?: While the BJP-led NDA government has furthered the installation of bio-toilets after coming into power in 2014, it was first introduced by the Congress-led United Progress Alliance (UPA) government in 2010.

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How did we find that out?: Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Indian Railways and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to develop a bio-toilet system suitable for railway coaches.

  • It was signed on 9 March 2010.

  • The collaboration resulted in the installation of anaerobic bio-toilets in the passenger coaches of the Indian Railways.

Bio-toilets were first introduced by the Congress-led United Progress Alliance government in 2010.

The screenshot of the MoU between the Indian Railways and DRDO.

(Source: Rolling Stock Knowledge Resource/Screenshot)

  • According to the Indian Railway Institute of Mechanical & Electrical Engineering (IRIMEE), "the first rake with bio-toilets developed with DRDO has been running in Bundelkhand Express since 18 January 2011."

  • report published by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in 2017 said that "the Indian Railways set up a Core group to decide suitable environment-friendly toilets for use" in November 2009.

Bio-toilets were first introduced by the Congress-led United Progress Alliance government in 2010.

A core committee was set up in 2009 to draw an action plan for environment friendly toilets.

(Source: CAG/Screenshot/Altered by The Quint)

2012-13 budget: The government had announced in that year's budget that around "2,500 coaches to be equipped with bio-toilets" under the green initiatives.

Bio-toilets were first introduced by the Congress-led United Progress Alliance government in 2010.

The 2012-13 budget said around 2,500 coaches will be equipped with bio-toilets.

(Source: Indian Railways/Screenshot)

More than 11,000 bio-toilets installed till 2014: According to Lok Sabha answer given on 14 August 2014, around 11,777 bio-toilets were installed in 4,356 passenger coaches till 30 June 2014.

  • All the details regarding the passenger coaches can be found here.

  • We also found a tweet from Press Information Bureau (PIB) which gave a similar approximate figure.

Developments under the NDA government: According to a press release on PIB, "more than 2.5 lakh bio-digesters have been installed in Indian Railways coaches."

  • tweet posted by Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal posted in 2018 said that the Indian Railways had installed the highest-ever bio-toilets in train coaches during 2017-18.

  • He mentioned that this was in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Swacch Bharat Mission'.

  • It included figures from 2013-14 (UPA government) and 2014-18 (NDA government).

Conclusion: The claim that bio-toilets were first introduced after 2014 is false. It was introduced by the UPA government in 2010.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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