Innovative Foot-operated Washbasins to Combat COVID-19 Crisis

Indian Railway is leading India’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only is the Indian Railway converting train coaches into isolation wards to provide facilities to combat the pandemic, but its various zonal divisions have come up with innovative solutions to combat the crisis. One such innovative solution ingeniously developed by the Indian Railway to combat the COVID-19 crisis is the foot operated wash-basin wherein a person will have to press the lever by foot and water and soap will be dispensed.

The Electric Loco Shed in Angul, Odisha has followed the footsteps of Thiruvananthapuram Railway Division and has manufactured foot operated hand wash basin. Just like the contactless hand-wash system, developed by the coaching maintenance workers of the Thiruvananthapuram Railway division, the wash basin developed by ELS Angul helps people avoid any contact with water tap or the soap dispenser by hand. The wash basin is easily operated using legs and there are separate levers for running water and soap dispensers. One does not need to use hands even to take the hand wash, a kick would suffice. The staffs at the ELS is already using it and say that it keeps them safe from getting infected through contact by hands.

Similarly, a novel foot operated hand washing mechanism has been devised by staff at the South Western Railways. In a statement, the Railways said that as suggested by the medical community, washing hands frequently can prevent spread of COVID-19 but the hand washing arrangements present at working places where large numbers of people work itself are a potential threat for virus transmission. To counter this, a novel method was devised as instructed by DRM Arvind Malkhede. The hands free hand sanitising arrangement helps in sanitising the hands without physically touching the water tap and sanitiser dispenser, thereby making it safe for usage at common places. A similar modified washbasin was developed by East Central Railway’s (ECR) Barwadih Wagon Care Centre of the Dhanbad Division.

According to the statement by South Western Railway, the system will also help in saving a lot of water. A water tank of 500/1000 litres capacity is mounted on a fabricated stand along with a wash basin. A gravity water tap is connected to this water tank. A hand sanitizer dispenser is fixed adjacent to the tap. Both the tap and hand sanitiser dispenser are mechanically linked to peddles fixed at the bottom portion of the stand. Both the tap and sanitizer can be independently operated by pressing pedals. Releasing the pedal automatically shuts off the supply of water and sanitiser liquid.

A contactless hand-wash system, developed by the coaching maintenance workers of the Thiruvananthapuram division has won praise from Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal. Five workers of the accident relief tool van of the coaching depot are behind this innovation. 


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