The Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) has organised the second edition of Rail Connect on 8th September 2020 on the virtual platform. The conference focused on the future plans of the Indian Railways, indigenous manufacturing, and Ease of doing business for the railway industry in India and deliberate upon the emerging opportunities for private industry in Rail Transportation sector covering public private partnership, technology, urban mobility, station development, locomotive modernization, rail freight, communication technology and the safety, health and sustainability standards of the railway system.
The event witnessed the participation of Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav, Chairman & CEO, Railway Board, Shri Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII and industry leaders.
Addressing the inaugural session of the event, Shri Goyal said, “Indian Railways is rightly referred as the growth engine of the country by Shri Narendra Modi, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India. His vision is to make Indian Railways a strong entity which serves customers with modern technology and good service experience while maintaining the romanticism associated with Railways. There has been a transformation of Railways. During COVID phase, Indian Railways utilised the opportunity for removing bottlenecks, maintenance, running Shramik trains, bring back freight share, reinvigorating processes, making policy changes, engaging with private sector, technology providers, improving infrastructure.” The Minister also stated that Indian Railways is pacing towards becoming Net Zero Carbon Emitter. He urged the industry leaders to collaborate and partner with Indian Railways to provide cost effective solutions in logistics sector and reducing logistic costs. He also stressed that AatmaNirbhar Railways depends on the participation of both, Railways and Industry.
- Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav, Chairman, Railway Board in his address talked about various steps taken by Indian Railways in the direction of modernisation, self-reliance and green Railways.
- He outlined the plan for Indian Railways transformation and expressed that Indian Railways is open for collaborations and partnerships with the industry.
- During the conference, various industry leaders appreciated the important role played by Railways during the lockdown period and also the discernible changes in Railways.
In order to achieve its objective of becoming 100% self-sustainable for all it’s power needs and also to contribute to national solar power goals, Indian Railways has solarised more than 960 stations till 31.08.2020. Orders have been placed for 198 MW solar rooftop capacity for 550 stations which are under execution.
It may be noted that Indian Railways had recently organised a meet of leading solar power developers who had shared their expectations of being partners in the journey of Indian Railways to become “Net Zero Carbon Emitter” before 2030.
Indian Railways on the path of going green:
- Some of the Stations solarised are Varanasi, New Delhi, Old Delhi, Jaipur, Secunderabad, Kolkata, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Howrah etc.
- About 51,000 hectare vacant land available with Indian Railways and is now ready to extend all support to the developers for installing solar power plants on Railway’s vacant un-encroached land.
- It may be noted that Indian Railways is committed to utilize solar energy for meeting its traction power requirement and become a complete ‘Green mode of transportation’.
- This is in line with the recent directive of the Hon’ble Prime Minister to solarise railway stations and utilize vacant railway land for Renewable Energy (RE) projects.
- The use of solar power will accelerate the Railways’ mission to achieve the goal of becoming ‘Net Zero Carbon Emission Railway’.
- In order to achieve this, Indian Railways has developed a mega plan for installing solar plants of 20 GW capacity by utilizing its vacant land by 2030.
- In this regard, to begin with, bids for 3 GW solar projects on vacant Railway land parcels and land parcels along the railway track have already been invited by Railway Energy Management Company Ltd. (REMCL), a PSU of Indian Railways.
- These solar projects, besides supplying power to Railways at reduced tariff, will also protect the Railway land by construction of boundary wall along the track.
Source: PIB-Press Release