NEW DELHI :
Taking a train journey could leave zero carbon footprint after a decade as the Indian Railways plans to transform into Green Railways by 2030. The blueprint to mitigate harmful impacts of global warming and combating climate change includes railway electrification, improving energy efficiency, green certification for installations and stations, fitting bio toilets in coaches and switching to renewable sources of energy.
Having completed electrification of more than 40,000 route km (RKM), the Railways has fixed a target of electrification of 7000 RKM for 2020-21. All routes on BG network have been planned to be electrified by December 2023. “Indian Railways is focusing on electrification of last mile connectivity & missing links. With this in mind 365 km major connectivity work has been commissioned during COVID period,” the national transporter said.
Solar energy to run trains
The Railways plans to generate 500 MW energy through roof-top solar panels and so far 100 MW of solar plants have already been commissioned on roof-tops of various buildings, including 900 stations. “Solar plants with a combined capacity of 400 MW are under different stages of execution. Tenders are already awarded for 245 MW and target for completion of these plants is December 2022,” it said.
Besides this, Indian Railways is also trying to produce power from land-based solar installations for running trains. Indian Railways has 51,000 hectare of land potential of installing 20 GW land based solar plants.
The solar power so generated will be fed to central or state grid or directly to 25 kV AC traction system. Railway Energy Management Company Limited (REMCL), a Joint Venture Company of Indian Railways (49% equity) and RITES Limited (51% equity), has been mandated for proliferation of taking up land based project.
In the wind energy sector, 103 MW wind-based power plants have already been commissioned. Among them, 26 MW is in Rajasthan (Jaisalmer), 21 MW is in Tamil Nadu and 56.4 MW is in Maharashtra (Sangli). Indian Railways has also planned to set up 200 MW wind energy plants in next 2 years in Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Karnataka.
The Railways has also started other green initiatives like 100 % LED illumination of buildings and stations. Indian Railways has also acquired Green Certification from CII to 7 production units (PUs), 39 workshops, 6 diesel sheds and 1 stores depot. 14 railway stations and 21 other buildings and campuses have also been green certified.