To cope up the drought situation slowly gripping the country, Indian Railway has decided to set up automatic coach washing plants at 10 major depots to save water required for cleaning trains.
ACWP will be equipped with an effluent treatment system and water softening plant for recycling water used for cleaning trains and platforms. There are 23 railway depots out of which we will set up modern washing plants with added facilities for treatment of water for reuse at 10 at an estimated cost of Rs 20 crore, said a senior Railway Ministry official involved in execution of green initiatives of the national transporter.
According to the official, the National Green Tribunal has taken note of excessive extraction of ground water by railways for cleaning coaches and platforms. About 12,000 litres to 14,000 litres of water is being used for cleaning one rake consisting of 22-24 coaches.
Automatic washing plant is eco-friendly and uses minimum quantity of water, soap and disinfectants. Further, water used for washing can be treated at the ETP plant and recycled. The automatic plant will require only 6000 litres to clean a rake out of which 4000 litres will be recycled water.
As per the calculation, one depot will save 1,24,000 litres of water per day and 453 lakh litres per year once the plant is operational. The cumulative saving of fresh water will be to the extent of 450 million litres per annum for 10 depots, the official said. Besides, railways has also undertaken a massive exercise of reviving and conserving water bodies on rail land across the country.
An action plan is being prepared to take stock of the condition of all such water bodies, he said, adding instructions have been issued to protect, preserve and rejuvenate them on a priority basis.
Indian Railway has thousands of water bodies along its 65,000 km-long tracks and on land owned by the public sector behemoth. Coming to the rescue of people in the parched areas of Maharashtra and Rajasthan, the railways has sent train loads of water to provide succour to them.