08-06-2017 05:00 AM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
The Indian Railways is undergoing a revamp as it looks forward to tackling climate change issues by installing solar panels, rainwater harvesting system and more
The Indian government stands by the Paris accord and is all set to reduce its carbon footprint. As the Indian Railways is the largest rail network in the world and consumes gigantic amounts of electricity, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said that it is necessary to identify a cost effective energy system with least environmental impact.
Consequently, the government has planned to derive 500 MW of solar power by roof top solar installations on railway stations, administrative buildings and vacant land. Around 7,000 stations have been chosen for solar panels and excess solar energy will be sold to local business and residents.
Indian Railways also intends to equip all its trains with bio-toilets. Over the years, it has partnered with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to develop environment-friendly bio-toilets for its passenger coaches where human waste accumulates in tanks below the toilets which is then treated and decomposed by a consortium of bacteria, as opposed to being released directly onto the tracks. So far, it has 49,000 bio-toilets in over 900 operational trains across India.
The Railways also use environmentally friendly composite sleepers made of recycled plastic waste which is placed over all girder bridges to collect rainwater, that can be later used for maintenance of wagons/coaches and cleaning of stations.
Supporting the afforestation drive, the Indian Railways has announced the target of planting a total of 5 crore trees along the track and rail land across the country.
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