In an effort to transform India’s railways into green railways by 2030, the Ministry of Railways has taken a series of major measures to mitigate global warming and combat climate change.
Electrification of railways, improvement of energy efficiency of locomotives, trains and fixtures, green certification of installations/stations, installation of biological toilets in passenger cars and conversion to renewable energy are part of its strategy to achieve zero carbon net emissions, the Ministry said in a statement on Monday.
Indian Railways has completed more than 40,000 km (63 per cent of the wide rail line) of electrification, of which 18,605 km was completed in 2014-2020. Previously, only 3,835 km of electrification was completed between 2009 and 2014.
Indian Railways has set a target of 7,000km electrification by 2020-21. The company plans to electrify all its routes by December 2023. At the same time, the company is focusing on last-mile connectivity and electrification of the missing link. With this in mind, 365 kilometers of major connections have been made during COVID-19.
Indian Railways has also taken a number of initiatives to promote solar power, including efforts to harness 500 megawatts of energy potential through rooftop solar panels.
So far, 100 megawatts of solar power have been tested on the roofs of various buildings, including 900 power stations. In addition, solar power plants with a total installed capacity of 400 megawatts are at different stages of implementation. Bids have been awarded for 245 megawatts, and the plants are targeted for completion by December 2022.
In addition, Indian Railways is trying to generate electricity for train operations through onshore solar installations. Indian railways has 51,000 hectares of land potential for 20GW of onshore solar power plants.
In the wind sector, Indian Railways has so far been commissioning 103-megawatt wind farms. This includes 26 mw in Rajasthan, 21 mw in Tamil Nadu and 56.4 MW in Maharashtra. Indian Railways also plans to build 200 MW of wind power plants in Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Karnataka in the next two years. Aware of its role in climate change, Indian Railways has launched other green initiatives such as 100% LED lighting in buildings and stations.