Railways sign Letters of Intent (LOI) with UNEP on Environment Initiatives

Indian Railways highlights its Mission to produce 1000 MW Solar Energy and to reduce water consumption by 20%. UN body aims to concretise an Action Plan for development of green technology and also to set up waste management centres at all major railway stations in India

NEW DELHI: In the august presence of Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Officials at the Ministry of Railways yesterday signed a LETTER OF INTENT (LOI) with United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to formalise the joint cooperation in the area of environmental conservation today i.e. 9th March 2017 at Rail Bhavan. Minister of State for Railways, Rajen Gohain specially graced the occasion. Chairman, Railway Board, A. K. Mital, Member (Rolling Stock), Railway Board, Ravindra Gupta, other Railway Board Members and senior officials were also present on the occasion. Mr. Erik Solheim, Executive Director UNEP (and Under Secretary General, UN) from Head office, Nairobi, Kenya was also present. Representatives of Indian Railways and UNEP signed and exchanged Letters of Intent for exploring the opportunity and Developing a Joint cooperation mechanism in the field of Environment& Sustainability

The focussed areas identified for joint activities would be to;

  1. Collaborate in Formulating Specific Roadmap for achieving 20% reduction in Water consumption at Railway establishments.
  2. Collaborate in the development of a Draft action plan for establishing waste management centres at major stations on Indian Railways.
  3. Collaborate in the development of a Draft action plan for Indian Railways on sustainable public procurement for green technology.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that Indian Railways welcomes this partnership. The priority in Railways is to reduce the carbon footprints which will help public at large. After this partnership, opportunities are large to work for environment conservation in collaboration with UNEP. Railway is already taking several green initiatives and is going to produce 1000MW solar energy. This joint co-operation will help Indian Railways in its green objectives.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr.Erik Solheim, Executive Director UNEP said that Indian Railways is an iconic organization which provides environment friendly transport. The focus of this partnership is on three main areas: waste management which is important for community, reduction in water consumption which is core of environment issues and sustainable public procurement. Indian Railways is a major procurement agency. The focus should be to move towards a greener state. Indian Railways under the reformist leadership of Minister of Railways will sure move towards greener and efficient transport system.

Backgrounder:-

Indian Railways, the lifeline of the country, with carrying 23 million passengers every day is the largest passenger carrying system in the world.  It is also the largest consumer of water as well as electricity and major contributor to green environment due to reduced GHG emissions. Indian Railways have been taking a number of steps towards Water Management, Energy Conservation, Solid Waste Management and Green buildings. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), is the leading organization within the United Nations system in the field of environment and has as a major area of focus of its global mandate, the conservation, protection, enhancement and support of nature and natural resources worldwide.

As the UNEP and Ministry of Railways share common objectives with regard to the coherent implementation of the environmental dimensions of sustainable development, and wish to collaborate to further these common goals and objectives within their respective mandates and governing rules and regulations; both organisations today signed and exchanged Letters of Intent for exploring the opportunity and Developing a Joint cooperation mechanism in the field of Environment& Sustainability.

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