Indian Railways goes green! 10 major steps taken to make railways eco-friendly

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The Railway Ministry plans to have 1000 MW solar power by 2020-2021. The move is likely to help Indian Railways to source about 10 percent of its electrical energy from the renewable source. So far, around 71.19 MW of solar plants have already been installed over rooftops at service buildings and railways stations.

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Indian Railways goes green! In a bid to turn environment-friendly, Piyush Goyal chaired Railway Ministry has undertaken several measures. From setting up solar power plants to wind energy plants, from installing environment-friendly bio-toilets in passenger coaches to electrification of railway lines, several steps have been taken by the Railway Ministry as a part of Go Green Initiative. Recently, in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha, the Minister of State of Railways Rajen Gohain stated the details of the areas and activities that have been identified by the national transporter and their present status, which are as follows:

1) The Railway Ministry plans to have 1000 MW solar power by 2020-2021. The move is likely to help Indian Railways to source about 10 percent of its electrical energy from the renewable source. So far, around 71.19 MW of solar plants have already been installed over rooftops at service buildings and railways stations.

2) Indian Railways has installed wind energy plants of 36.5 MW, out of which, 26 MW was installed at Jaisalmer in 2015-2016.

3) LED lighting has been provided on electrified railway stations and service buildings. 100 percent LED luminaries have been fitted on all electrified railway stations except those under gauge conversion and on 99 percent of service buildings.

4) In June, 2015, the national transporter started blending of 5 percent bio-diesel in High Speed Diesel (HSD) for diesel locomotives.

5) 20 percent CNG substitution in diesel engines of 23 Diesel Power Cars of DEMU trains as well as introduction of solar energy based DEMUs.

6) To increase greenery in railway premises, trees have been planted. In 2016, railway track side boundary plantation was also started. On the railways network, during 2016-2017, 1.25 crores saplings were planted, in 2017-2018, 88.96 lakh saplings were planted and during 2018-2019 up to November, 2018, 97.33 lakh saplings were planted.

7) Indian Railways, towards better water management, water Audits at major centres of consumption and proliferation of Water Recycling Plants as well as Rain Water Harvesting systems have been undertaken.

8) In 2016-2017, rating and assessment of production units and workshops as Green Industrial Units started with ‘GreenCo’ certification of two workshops along with one production unit. Since then, as many as 31 workshops, 2 Diesel Sheds, 4 Production Units, 2 Supervisors Training Centres and 1 Stores depot have been ‘GreenCo’ certified.

9) Around 163,000 bio-toilets have been installed by the railways in nearly 44,500 train coaches, out of which over 127,000 bio-toilets were added in around 33,500 train coaches since the month of April, 2016.

10) Over the last few years, the pace of electrification has been increased by the Railway Ministry. Till 1 April, 2018, 30,212 route kilometres of the railway network was electrified out of which 5,733 RKM was done between the years 2016-2017 and 2017-2018. Additionally, the work of electrification on 33,658 Route Kilometers is in progress.

For allocating 1 percent cost in all sanctioned works for execution of works related to the environment, a policy decision was taken in the year 2016.

Article Credit: FinancialExpress

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