World Water Day: Indian Railways unveils Policy to recycle water for non-potable usage

GreenCo Certificates developed by CII Given to Three Units of Indian Railways viz. Diesel Locomotive Works (Varanasi), Perambur Carriage Works (Chennai), Lalaguda Carriage Workshop (Hyderabad)
Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Hon’ble MR presents Silver Co-Certification Award to Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav, General Manager, SCR

New Delhi: The Railways unveiled its water conservation policy, a first in the transportation sector, to reduce wastage of the precious natural resource on the World Water Day on Wednesday. Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu released New Water Management Policy in Indian Railways and handed over GreenCo Certificates to Diesel Locomotive Works (Varanasi),  Perambur Carriage Workshop (Chennai), Lalaguda Carriage Workshop (Hyderabad). The certificate developed by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is given for adopting good green practices. Chairman, Railway Board, Shri A. K. Mital, Member Traffic Shri Mohd Jamshed, Member Engineering Shri AK Mittal, Member Rolling Stock Shri Ravindra Gupta, Member Staff Shri Pradeep Kumar and other Railway Board Members and senior officials were also be present on the occasion.

The Railways’ policy envisages participation of private players in recycling water for non-potable usage on BOOT (build, own, operate and transfer) basis. “Today is the World Water Day. But I believe observing it for just one day will not serve the purpose. It should  be celebrated every day,” Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said here while launching the policy.

The policy covers all aspects of water usage including recycling, conservation and recharge of ground water. It also aims to improve water usage efficiency by setting up recycling plants, sewage treatment plants, effluent treatment plants and by rainwater harvesting on railways land. Private players will be encouraged to set up these plants and the Railways will ensure the purchase of treated water from these units.

Describing the step as environment-friendly, Prabhu said, “We had already announced for restoration and revival of all our water bodies along the tracks and on rail land last year. We had also announced plan for plantation of five crore tress on rail land.” The water policy is part of the commitments India has made to the UN under the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to reduce water consumption and the Railways has assumed a pro-active role in it. Railways also gave green certificates to Diesel Locomotive Factory at Varanasi, Perambur Carriage Workshop at Chennai.

Speaking on the occasion,, Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that World Water Day should not be celebrated only once in a year. There is no point celebrating only once rather steps should be taken daily to make this World Water Day more meaningful. In Railways, there is large area of land in its jurisdiction, by virtue of it, large number of water bodies lies in its jurisdiction. Railways has taken steps to restore water bodies in each zone of Indian Railways and revived them. One such 200 years old water body was restored in South Central Railways. In this water policy, water audits, restoration of water bodies and recycling of water will be ensured. Indian Railways Water Policy is not one day affair, it is our commitment for all time.

Target has been set for plantation. 5 Crores saplings are to be planted in 3 years. 1.25 Crore saplings are targeted for this year. Environment Directorate has been set up in the Railway Board. A mission of Rs. 41000 Crore for saving in energy bill has been set. 1000 MW target of solar energy production has been set out of which 500 MW will be through Rooftops and 500 MW on land. Railways has been committed for environment. Railways is working with UNEP to achieve this. Science Express has been started for awareness about Climate Change and other Environmental issues.

Backgrounder: Water Policy on Indian Railways

Indian Railways, the lifeline of the country, carrying 23 million passengers every day is the largest passenger carrying system in the world.  It is also the single largest consumer of natural resources, at the same time also a major contributor to green environment due to reduced GHG emissions. Indian Railways had been taking a number of steps to become further environment friendly.

Indian Railways have now finalized a water management policy which covers all aspects of water use, recycling, conservation and recharge of groundwater. This is a progressive and creative policy where field units will be motivated to recycle and save water. The objective is to improve water use efficiency by setting up water Recycling Plants, Rain Water Harvesting Plants, Sewage Treatment Plants and effluent treatment plants on Railway Land.  Another forward looking provision is participation of private players for recycling water for non-potable usage on BOOT basis.

GreenCo Certificates to Railway Workshops

GreenCo Rating System, developed by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is the first of its kind framework in the world, aimed at catalyzing green practices in Indian industry. The objective is to define and assess “How Green is a company” and facilitate the way forward for further improvement and promote world class competitiveness through Green strategies. The framework adopts life-cycle approach while evaluating the activities of a unit/facility on green front.

Diesel Locomotive Works (GreenCo Silver), Varanasi and Perambur Carriage Workshop (GreenCo Bronze), Chennai have been certified by CII GBC as identified in the MOU.  In addition Lallaguda Carriage Workshop (GreenCo Silver), Hyderabad have credibly achieved certification on their own.

Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Minister for Railways presents the Prestigious “GreenCo-Silver Certification Award” to Vinod Kumar Yadav, GM, SCR

Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Hon’ble Minister for Railways presented the prestigious “GreenCo – Silver Rating” Certification award of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) awarded to Carriage Workshop, Lallaguda on South Central Railway to Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav, General Manager, SCR at a function held at Railway Board, New Delhi on 22nd March, 2017. 

The Carriage Workshop, Lallaguda, Secunderabad has achieved the distinction of being the first Railway Workshop on Indian Railways to receive this prestigious rating. This is only the second unit on Indian Railways to have received the award, the first being the Perambur Carriage & Wagon Workshop which got a Bronze rating earlier.

Indian Railways made a commitment in 2016 budget that it would convert Production Units and Workshops into green industrial units. As a step towards this, the Carriage Workshop, Lallaguda took up environmental friendly practices, there by earning the prestigious GreenCo – Silver Certification from Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The CII has assessed the green initiatives taken by the Workshop, which involves 8 (eight) parameters including energy & water conservation, renewable energy, green house gas emission, waste management, material conservation, green supply chain, recycling and flora-fauna & innovations, all of which contributes to the Workshops performance on the green front.

The endeavor towards Carbon Neutral approach of the Carriage Workshop, Lallaguda has succeeded in reducing Carbon footprint by 10% in comparison to the previous year. The plans of the Workshop envisages further reduction of carbon foot print by 2% annually and also encourage its stake holders in green supply chain system to Go Green. As a result of the initiative taken for environmental friendly practices, during 2016-17, the Carriage Workshop saved about Rs.40 lakhs and manifold savings are expected on implementation of quality standards and GreeCo Projects during the year 2017-18.