“Indian Railways has completed electrification of more than 40,000 Route km (RKM) (63 per cent of broad-gauge routes) in which 18,605 km electrification work has been done during 2014-20.”
With the goal of transforming Indian Railways into Green Railways by 2030, the Ministry of Railways has taken a number of major initiatives towards mitigation of global warming and combating climate change.
Railway electrification, improving the energy efficiency of locomotives and trains and fixed installations, green certification for installations/stations, fitting bio-toilets in coaches and switching to renewable sources of energy are parts of its strategy of achieving net-zero carbon emission, according to a statement by Ministry of Railways on Monday.
Indian Railways has completed electrification of more than 40,000 Route km (RKM) (63 per cent of broad-gauge routes) in which 18,605 km electrification work has been done during 2014-20. Previously, only 3,835 km electrification work was completed during the period 2009-14.
Indian Railways has fixed a target of electrification of 7,000 RKM for the year 2020-21. All routes on the BG network have been planned to be electrified by December 2023.
The Indian Railways is focusing on electrification of last-mile connectivity and missing links. With this in mind, 365 km of major connectivity work has been commissioned during the COVID-19 period.
Indian Railways has also taken a number of initiatives to promote solar energy. Indian Railways is working to harness the potential of 500 Mega Watt (MW) energy through rooftop solar panels (developer model).
Till date, 100 Mega Watt (MW) of solar plants have 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 the target for completion of these plants is December 2022.
Besides this, Indian Railways is also trying to produce power from land-based solar installations for running trains. Indian Railways has 51,000 hectares of the land potential of installing 20GW land-based solar plants.
One project of 1.7 MW at Bina (Madhya Pradesh) in collaboration with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has already been installed and is presently under extensive testing.
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 two years in Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Karnataka.
Realising its role in climate change Indian Railways has started other Green Initiatives like 100 per cent LED illumination of buildings and stations.
In the field of Green Initiatives, a total of 69,000 coaches have been fitted with more than 244,000 bio-toilets in Indian Railways.