New Delhi: The Minister of Railways, Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu while presenting the Railway Budget 2016-17 in Parliament today said that Environment in the context of India’s commitment to reduce its carbon foot print, Indian Railways have undertaken energy audits which have revealed the possibility of reducing energy consumption in non-traction area by 10% to 15%. To achieve this, Indian Railways have decided that all new light provisions will be LED luminaire only and all Railway stations will be covered with LED luminaire in next 2 to 3 years.
Railway Minister added that an action plan has been drawn up for environmental accreditation, water management and waste to energy conversion. So far, more than 2,000 locations have been provided with Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) facility and RWH systems will be provided in a phased manner in all establishments having rooftop areas of more than 200 square metres. This comes from a realization that out of total potential of recycling around 250 million litres of water per day, Indian Railways only recycle 20 million litres.
Shri Suresh Prabhu also said that Indian Railway uses steel sleepers on steel bridges which have limitations on maintenance and attaining higher speeds. Hence, environmentally friendly composite sleepers made up of recycled plastic waste have been developed which will be used over all girder bridges.
Railway Minister added that to take forward, our Prime Minister’s vision of promoting Solar Power, Indian Railways had targeted commissioning of installed capacity of 1000 MW in next 5 years. Policy guidelines and tender documents for 50MW solar plants at rooftop have been issued and facility for another 100 MW is being set up. We have commissioned a 25 MW wind mill power plant at Jaisalmer and Indian Railways are working towards commissioning 132.5 MW in the next year. Railway Minister proposed to utilize our infrastructure at remotely located railway stations for installation of solar micro-grid on pilot basis which will not only provide clean and reliable power supply to railway stations, but will also facilitate energy access to nearby quarters and surrounding rural households.
Shri Suresh Prabhu also announced that Automatic coach washing plants will be commissioned in major coaching depots with a holding of more than 500 coaches for improved cleaning with reduced water consumption. Further, 32 stations and 10 coaching depots have been identified for installation of water recycling plants in the coming years.
Railway Minister also proposed to convert all production units as well as at least one workshop in each Zonal Railway as green industrial unit by obtaining relevant certification, good energy management, sourcing energy from renewables, water conservation, improved green cover and environment friendly management of waste.
Shri Suresh Prabhu also announced that in order to encourage active involvement by various Railway establishments towards environmental initiatives, Indian Railways have instituted a Shield on Environment for the best performing Zonal Railway or Production Unit.