It is invisible to the naked eye and originated in the uninhabitable climes of Antarctica. This humble bacteria — known as Psychrophile — holds the potential to solve India’s sanitation problem in the years to come. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is using these bacteria for the bio-digester technology it developed for disposal of human waste in an eco-friendly manner. DRDO has already tiedup with the Indian Railways for bio-toilets on trains. The technology was inaugurated on Sunday at Dhamra in Odisha in the presence of Jairam Ramesh,Union minister of rural development, drinking water and sanitation.
It was Ramesh’s caustic remark in May that got the DRDO involved in installing the odourless bio-toilets that it had developed in rural areas. The minister had rued the fact that while India is capable of launching inter-continental ballistic missiles like Agni and satellites, women still don’t have access to proper sanitation. Ramesh said that the DRDO-developed green toilet project has been proposed to be introduced in 1,000 panchayats soon.