Taking its green initiative a step ahead, the Railways has decided to create green cover along the tracks across the country and offer a pleasant travelling experience to commuters.
Expected to be launched soon, the initiative comes close on the heels of the public transporter proposing several environment-friendly plans which include bio-degradable toilets, tapping of solar energy and running of locos on CNG.
“One more initiative we are going to take, which is being discussed with Ministry of Environment, is to plant trees along rail tracks. All over the country, we would like to plant such trees which will actually help the environment,” Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said without elaborating on the plan further.
He was addressing an event here to flag off ‘Science Express Climate Action Special’ (SECAS) in the presence of Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan and the latter’s deputy Y S Chowdary besides senior officials of the respective ministries.
Prabhu said his ministry intends to become largest solar energy producing institute and ensure that its operations run on the clean energy “as much as possible”.
He added the Railways is also set to commission soon a turbine to generate wind energy in Jaisalmer.
“Each ministry has to take steps to protect environment. Hence, we have appointed a director (environment) for the first time to figure out ways to save water, reduce electricity consumption. We will become largest solar energy producing institute in the country. Soon, we will commission wind turbine in Jaisalmer,” he said.
Prabhu, former Environment Minister, stressed that all the ministries need to come together and work in a way that environmental issues do not crop in the first place.
He said that it is required to influence minds of people towards protecting environment and insisted the “messenger has to be good to send across a good message” while underlining need for conveying message through right means and people.
Informing about the initiative taken by his ministry, Vardhan said three coaches of the express were operating completely on solar energy – which he said was a “historic” step towards making trains clean energy-based.
“Central Electronics Limited of the Science and Technology Ministry has converted three of its coaches into solar coaches to encourage use of clean energy. The solar energy generated in one coach will help 1,700 litre diesel annually for railways. This is just the beginning, if we convert all the trains on solar energy, we will be able to save 100 million litres of diesel.
“On one hand we are enlightening students, on the other hand you have this live example of clean energy. This, I think, will be a historic step towards converting trains into solar trains,” Vardhan told reporters.
The 16-coach science express will cover distance of 64 locations in 20 states and cover distance of 19,800 km over a period of 200 days. The ministries have deployed 40 educators to inform people about climate change issues and how it can be tackled at individual level.