By 2023, Indian Railways will be the largest Completely Electrified Railway Network in the world, thus becoming the largest ‘Green Railway’, in the world.
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 km, and SWR completed 303 route km of electrification. The entire IR Broadguage network and SWR rail network are set to be electrified completely by Dec 2023. Complete Electrification of IR will result in savings of approx ₹13,500 Crores per annum.
In SWR limits, at least 60 trains are proposed to be run with electric traction by March 2022 resulting in ₹9.05 crore savings per month. So far the Power cars of 30 trains have been made HOG compliant. This has resulted in savings of ₹33.65 crores in 2021-22.
With Electrification, for power supply on board the coaches, Head on Generation technology will be used which will draw electricity directly from Overhead line and Diesel Generator use will be stopped. This will result in significant savings and reduction of Pollution.
Rainwater Harvesting to Conserve Water:
To promote water conservation, Indian Railways has been providing Rain Water Harvesting system (RWHs) at various locations as per the existing policy. Rain Water Harvesting system (RWHs) is being provided in all establishments having rooftop areas of more than 200 square meters.
With the consistent efforts 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.
Solar initiatives by Indian Railways & SWR:
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.
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 Railways. 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 Hubballi Division become self-sufficient in water management. It is supplying 10-12 lakh liters of Water to Railway colonies, Workshops, and Stations. It has resulted in a saving of ₹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.
Bengaluru Division initiatives:
Bengaluru Division has developed Gardens and tree plantation at 25 locations over an area of 36479 sqm. In 2020-21, 3 sewage treatment plants with a total of 19lakh liter water recycling and in 2021-22 2 sewage water treatment plants with a total of 8 lakh liter water recycling plants have been commissioned in Bengaluru Division.
6 plastic bottle crushing machines have been installed in the Bengaluru Division, to date. Dense plantations with a 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, the Mysuru Division has saved ₹12,51,366annually in terms of electricity bills. In 12 stations plastic bottle crushing machines are installed. Rainwater harvesting is done in all colonies of the Division.
In the entire zone, Lighting is provided with energy-efficient LED lights. The 3 Divisions have complied with all the directions of the National Green Tribunal with regard to Environmental norms, Pollution reduction, Waste Management, and Disposal. Gardens and Tree plantations have been taken up at numerous locations to maintain the green cover in the area.
These environment-friendly initiatives will not only reduce Pollution but also result in saving of expenditures in South Western Railway. In all Divisions, regular awareness drives on Avoiding plastic use has been taken up over the last year.
Environment Management Certification in Indian Railways & SWR:
9 stations in Hubballi Division, namely SSS Hubballi, Dharwad, Vasco da Gama, Belagavi, Vijayapura, Hosapete, Ballari, Gadag, and Londa; 17 stations in Bengaluru namely KSR Bengaluru City, Yesvantpur, Bengaluru Cantt, Kengeri, Krishnarajapuram, Bangarpet, Satya Sai Prashanti Nilayam, Mandya, Channapatna, Hindupur, Hosur, Kuppam, Malur, Ramanagaram, Tumakuru, Whitefield, Yelahanka; and 12 stations in Mysuru Division namely Mysuru, Davangere, Shivamogga Town, Arasikere, Birur, Harihar, Hassan, Chamarajanagar, Nanjanagud Town, Subrahmanya Road, Sagara Jambagaru, Srirangapattana stations have been certified with ISO 14001:2015 certification.
This has enabled these stations to be maintained in an Environmental-friendly manner. Solid and Liquid waste disposal, handling are being done in a scientific manner following the principles of Waste Segregation at source and Environmental-friendly disposal.
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.