Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai)



The railways plans to retrofit all its existing coaches with these amenities, officials aware of the matter said.

“Post Covid Coach will have handsfree amenities like foot operated water tap and soap dispenser, foot operated lavatory door (outside), foot operated flush valve, foot operated latches in lavatory door, outside washbasin with foot operated water tap and soap dispenser and forearm operated handle on compartmen­t door,” the railway ministry said in its design note for the coaches.

The coaches will also be equipped with copper-coated handrails and latches. “Copper degrades the virus landed on it within few hours. Copper has anti-microbial properties. When virus lands on copper, ion blasts pathogen and destroy the DNA and RNA inside the virus,” the ministry noted.

The first two such coaches built at the unit also have fixtures coated with TIO2 and the provision for plasma air equipment in AC ducts to sterilise interiors using ionised air. “This plasma air equipment will sterilize the air and surfaces inside the AC coach using ionised air to make the coach Covid-19 and particulat­e matter resistant. This provision will also improve the ion concentrat­ion from 100 ions/cm3 to more than 6000 ions/cm,” the ministry said.

The ministry said nano structured TIO2 functions as photoactiv­e material. “This is eco-friendly water-based coating that kills viruses, bacteria, mould, and fungal growth and most importantl­y enhances indoor air quality,” the ministry said. “It is non-toxic and approved by [the] food testing laboratory of the United States Food & Drug Administra­tion (FDA), CE certified. TIO2 is considered to

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