Indian Railways (IR) is moving towards becoming a “net zero carbon emitter” before 2030. IR is looking at helping the environment from its biggest to the smallest steps ranging from massive electrification, day to day water & paper conservation. In the last year 2020-21, IR completed 6100 route kms and South Western Railway (SWR) completed 303 route km of electrification.
- The entire IR Broad gauge network and SWR rail network is set to be electrified completely by Dec 2023.
- Complete Electrification of IR will result in savings of approx Rs. 13,500 crores per annum.
- In SWR at least 60 trains are proposed to be run with electric traction by March 2022 resulting in Rs. 9.05 crore savings per month.
Head on Generation Technology:
- With Electrification, for power supply on board the coaches, Head on Generation technology will be used which will draw electricity directly from over head line and diesel generator use will be stopped.
- This will result in significant savings and reduction of pollution.
- In SWR, so far, in 30 trains power car has been made HOG compliant.
- This has resulted in savings of Rs. 33.65 crores in 2021-22.
- Indian Railways has installed about 114 MW of solar rooftop plants in over 1,000 stations and 400 service buildings.
- Indian Railways plans to be a Zero Net Carbon Emitter by 2030.
- In South Western Railway 128 stations and 306 Level Crossing gates are provided with Solar Panels with energy generation capacity of 4535kW.
Rainwater Harvesting to Conserve Water:
- To promote water conservation, Indian Railways has been providing Rain Water Harvesting system (RWHs) at various locations as per extant policy.
- Rain Water Harvesting system (RWHs) is being provided in all establishments having rooftop areas of more than 200 square meters.
- With consistent effort of zonal Railways, 6,112 Rain Water Harvesting systems have been installed in Railways up to March 2021.
- In South Western Railway 363 locations are provided with Rainwater Harvesting system.
Environment Management Certification:
- In SWR, till 05.06.2021, 9 stations in Hubballi Division; 17 stations in Bengaluru and 12 stations in Mysuru Division have been certified with ISO 14001:2015 certification.
- This has enabled these stations to be maintained in an environmentally friendly manner.
- Solid and liquid waste disposal, handling is being done in a scientific manner following the principles of waste segregation at source and environmental-friendly disposal.
- Green certification mainly covers assessment of parameters having direct bearing on the environment, such as:-
- Energy conservation measures
- Use of renewable energy
- Green House Gas emission reduction
- Water conservation
- Waste management
- Material conservation
- In addition, over 600 Railway Stations have been certified for implementation of the Environment Management System to ISO: 14001:2015 in the last two years.
- A total of 718 stations have been identified for ISO: 14001:2015 certifications.
Rejuvenation of Century Old Lake in Hubballi Division:
- In Hubballi Division, a man-made lake in Railway premises initially constructed in 1917 at Devaragudihal village about 20 Kms away from Hubballi City had dried up.
- This lake was rejuvenated in 2020 with the in-house effort of the Railway.
- The entire pipeline was traced and re-built to pump the water from the lake to Railway facilities.
- The 278 acre large lake now supplies water to Railway colonies and stations.
- This is a significant step in making the Hubballi Division become self-sufficient in water management.
- It is supplying 10-12 lakh litres of water to Railway colonies, workshops and stations and it has resulted in saving of Rs 1 Crore per annum in expenditure related to water bills.
- A large number of gardens and parks have been developed and sustained to increase green cover in the Division.
- A vertical garden has been developed in the upcoming Dharwad Station.
- Gardens are developed in Ballari, Gadag, Indi, Almatti, SSS Hubballi Stations also.
Bengaluru Division initiatives:
- The Bengaluru Division has developed gardens and tree plantations at 25 locations over an area of 36479 sqm.
- In 2020-21, 3 sewage treatment plants with total 19 lakh capacity water recycling and in 2021-22, 2 sewage water treatment plants with total 8 lakh water recycling plants have been commissioned in Bengaluru Division.
- 6 plastic bottle crushing machines have been installed in the Division, till date.
- Dense plantations with high survival rate called Miyawaki Forests have been developed in Krishnarajapuram Shed and Cantonment Station areas in collaboration with NGOs.
Mysuru Division Initiatives:
- By actively installing solar rooftop plants, Division has saved Rs 12,51,366 annually in terms of electricity bills.
- In 12 stations plastic bottle crushing machines are installed.
- Rain water harvesting is done in all colonies of the Division.
- In the entire zone all lighting provided with energy efficient LED lighting.
- The 3 Divisions have complied with all the directions of National Green Tribunal with regard to environmental norms, pollution reduction, waste management and disposal.
- Gardens and tree plantation has been taken up at numerous locations to maintain the green cover in the area.
These environment friendly initiatives will not only save reduce pollution but also result in saving of expenditure in South Western Railway. In all Divisions, regular awareness drives on avoiding plastic use has been taken up over the last year. By 2023 Indian Railways will be the largest completely electrified Railway Network in the world, this becoming the largest ‘Green Railway’, globally.
Source: South Western Railway-Press Release | Image Credit (representational): MoR