RO-RO gets NGO thumbs up; calls for long-term approach across the country to curb pollution.
NEW DELHI: Railways has launched Roll-on Roll-off (RO-RO) service from Gurugram, shifting the movement of loaded trucks from the roads to the rails.
RO-RO service aims to reduce carbon emission and congestion on the roads of the national capital region (NCR) as about 66,000 diesel-guzzling trucks pass through Delhi and its adjoining areas in a day.
According to railways, there are about 20,000 trucks which are not meant for the NCR, but enter the region to travel further. These trucks can now avail the RO-RO service which will not only result in reduction in the pollution level but also help in decongesting the roads, said a Railway Ministry official involved with the project.
Aiming at addressing the ever-increasing level of vehicular pollution in the NCR, railways has started the RO-RO service from Gurugram. As per the plan, about 30 loaded trucks will be transported on the flat wagons from Garhi Harsuru station in Gurugram for Muradnagar in Uttar Pradesh.
It is a win-win situation for truckers as well as for railways as goods will be transported in safe and faster way saving cost on diesel and man-days besides effecting the pollution level, he said.
Besides the RO-RO service, long-term business agreement with various freight customers like manufacturers of cement, steel and fertiliser and food grains have also been firmed up to increase loadings as part of the new action plan.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu announced a series of measures unveiling the new business plan-2017-18 to perk up revenue. The new business plan-2017-18 will also unveil double stack dwarf containers for the movement of goods from Punjab to Gujarat on the electrified route. With a height of 12 ft 8 inches, dwarf containers are specially designed keeping the overhead electric wire in mind to carry maximum goods. Double stack containers are generally 17 ft high.
An environmental NGO has advocated adopting long-term and area-specific approach to curb pollution while lauding the Railways’ roll-on, roll-off (RO-RO) services to carry loaded trucks on wagons to decongest roads and reduce harmful emissions.
The Greenpeace India said movement of goods through public transport systems such as railways is a cleaner way of transportation compared to the truck-based system.
It said the method willreduce pollution, curb greenhouse gases emissions and bring down energy consumption. RO-RO service from Gurugram to carry loaded trucks on wagons so as to decongest the roads in the national capital region and tackle the problem of pollution.
“We need to look at not just bypassing Delhi and reducing entry of few trucks to Delhi, but reducing pollution everywhere by adopting long-term and regional approach,”Sunil Dahiya, Campaigner, Greenpeace India told PTI.
About 66,000 diesel-guzzling trucks pass through Delhi and its adjoining areas every day and the railways’ RO-RO services aims to reduce carbon emission and road congestion by taking them off roads.
There are eight entry-exit routes in the NCR which will be covered under the Ro-Ro services.
Dahiya said pollution and its impacts are restricted not just to Delhi but affect entire country and specifically all the places across Indo-Gangatic Plains “are polluted to nearly the same level as Delhi”.
“So any action to be taken has to have a holistic perspective and long-term and permanent solutions rather than putting bandages over the wounds,” he said.
He pointed out that fossil fuel consumption in energy and transportation systems has to be reduced across geographies if the country has to attain clean air and wants to reduce negative contribution to climate change.
About 30 loaded trucks were transported on flat wagons from Garhi Harsuru station in Gurugram to Muradnagar in Uttar Pradesh to mark the launch of the RO-RO services.
“The RO-RO is a boon for Delhi as it would have a direct impact on its air ambient quality and the capital would breathe clean air,” Prabhu said after launching the service.