Parliamentary Panel seeks separate funds for green Railway projects

Railways has plans for setting up about 200 MW of wind mill power plants

NEW DELHI: A parliamentary committee has suggested separate budget allocation for green energy initiatives by the Railways so that no such project is stuck due to want of funds.

The Railway Convention Committee (RCC) headed by Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP Bhartuhari Mahtab has expressed concern that as of now no state government/PSUs have entered into energy purchase agreements with the Railways.

“It is also a matter of concern that there are no investment partners in the PPP model for installation of wind farms,” its latest report said.

The Railways has plans for setting up about 200 MW of wind mill power plants.

The Committee has asked the Railways to accelerate the process so that more wind farms are set up and the energy sourced from them is gainfully utilised.

The panel has also asked the national transporter to intensify efforts for converting maximum possible establishments into green buildings, thus “providing for substantial savings in energy, fuel and water besides establishing the image of Railways as a green organisation.”

The Committee has exhorted the Railways to conduct periodic energy audits and issue policy directives for a separate performance audit of the green energy initiatives to have an objective assessment.

“Steps should also be taken to environmentally certify all the major Railway workshops, loco sheds, coaching depots and freight depots in a progressive and time bound manner,” it said.

The RCC also observed that the Railways was 2.8 times energy efficient for passenger traffic and 2.4 times efficient for freight movement, adding that it was “one of the least polluting modes of transport.