The persistence of Shiga-like toxin producing E. coli (STEC) strains in the agricultural soil creates serious threat to human health through fresh vegetables growing on them. However, the survival of STEC strains in Indian tropical soils is not yet understood thoroughly. Additionally how the survival of STEC strain in soil diverges with non-pathogenic and genetically modified E. coli strains is also not yet assessed. Hence in the present study, the survival pattern of STEC strain (O157-TNAU) was compared with non-pathogenic (MTCC433) and genetically modified (DH5α) strains on different tropical agricultural soils and on a vegetable growing medium, cocopeat under controlled condition. The survival pattern clearly discriminated DH5α from MTCC433 and O157-TNAU, which had shorter life (40... days) than those compared (60 days). Similarly, among the soils assessed, the red laterite and tropical latosol supported longer survival of O157-TNAU and MTCC433 as compared to wetland and black cotton soils. In cocopeat, O157 recorded significantly longer survival than other two strains. The survival data were successfully analyzed using Double-Weibull model and the modeling parameters were correlated with soil physico-chemical and biological properties using principal component analysis (PCA). The PCA of all the three strains revealed that pH, microbial biomass carbon, dehydrogenase activity and available N and P contents of the soil decided the survival of E. coli strains in those soils and cocopeat. The present research work suggests that the survival of O157 differs in tropical Indian soils due to varied physico-chemical and biological properties and the survival is much shorter than those reported in temperate soils. As the survival pattern of non-pathogenic strain, MTCC433 is similar to O157-TNAU in tropical soils, the former can be used as safe model organism for open field studies.