Konkan Railway vows to redouble efforts towards environment management
Mangalore: Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd has reiterated its commitment to the environment of World Environment Day. Konkan Railway, a signatory to United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) since October 2001, has always been a forerunner in adopting and ensuring eco-friendly initiatives in its working. This is reflected in vision, mission and objective statements of KR, which is always striving for environment protection/ conservation.
Initiatives of Konkan Railway for environment conservation are unique and innovative Roll-On Roll-Off service, which transports road trucks on rail wagons, making it possible to move them through the Western Ghats between Kolad and Surathkal. This service introduced on January 26, 1999 so far has transported 5 lakh road trucks and saved about 750 lakh litres of fuel. This Technology of Konkan Railway is being emulated on Indian Railways also.
Introduction of fuel efficient and environment friendly diesel electric multiple unit (DEMU) services is another step in this direction. One of the many benefits these trains provide is reduction of traffic congestion in busy and fast-growing cities like Madgaon. Konkan Railway has developed indigenous low cost robust automatic coach washing plant technology for cleaning of train coaches. This technology utilizes 70% less water than its manual cleaning counterpart.
Konkan Railway saves over than 10 million liters of water saved at each plant annually. The effluent treatment plant attached to this facilitates the recycling of the consumed water. Konkan Railway has two such plants on its route and one plant has been installed at Kolkata Metro. Considering the huge benefits in terms of economy as well as the water and energy being saved, this technology is being promoted for use in the Indian Railways as well.
Rain water harvesting has been adopted at five stations – Kamathe, Ratnagiri, Ukshi, Ankola and Murdeshwar in another effort to conserve water. All new buildings and installations on KR route will be provided with rain water harvesting systems in the future. Environment eco-friendly bio-toilets at both stations and trains is a novel attempt to conserve resources by harnessing renewable energy. Bio toilets have been installed in 1/4th of KR coaches and at 11 KR railway stations.
Bio-toilets will be installed at all upcoming restrooms at Konkan Railway stations. In addition organic waste convertors that convert bio-degradable waste into compost have been installed at Ratnagiri, Madgaon and Karwar stations. A bio-digester has also been installed at Ratnagiri station’s running room, and bio-gas generated is used for cooking in the kitchen. Following the success of this project, more organic waste converters and biodigesters are in pipeline.
Another effort on energy management front is a 350-KW capacity solar park at Ratnagiri which caters to power requirements of the city. Roof top solar plants have been installed at Kudal, Sawantwadi and Udupi stations. Wind and solar hybrid renewable energy system has also been set up at level crossing gates and stations. Konkan Railway has developed unique energy saving LED lights suitable for tunnels and all 66 tunnels on the route have been provided with these lights.
In an attempt to reduce air pollution, tunnel ventilation systems have been installed in seven long tunnels along Konkan Railway route. These systems control quality of the air within these tunnels. Konkan Railway has also displayed high sense of responsibility and commitment towards the protection of environment by planting trees in the Konkan Region, which is an ongoing activity and over 40,000 trees were planted last year alone in a reiteration towards green Earth.