In order to become environment friendly, Indian Railways, led by Piyush Goyal, has embarked upon numerous measures over the past could of years. Indian Railways has not only installed bio toilets in the coaches but also installed solar power plants at some railway stations under the Go Green Initiative of the Railway Ministry. As of 2nd of October 2019, Indian Railways has banned the use of single use plastics (less than 50 micron thickness) at the railway stations.
Here are some of the steps that Indian Railways has already implemented and will implement in near future to steer itself towards being eco-friendly
The Indian Railways is encouraging the use of cutlery made of Terracotta at stations, Raebareli and Varanasi has already started the use of Kulhads, plates, and glasses made out of Terracotta. Railway Ministry has implemented this scheme to minimise the use of single use plastic.
Indian Railways aims to become a railway system that only uses electric power to run their trains, if this is accomplished, Indian Railways will be the first one to do so at this scale in the World. Additionally, Piyush Goyal was heard saying that this electrification is being implemented at a very rapid speed and until last year the Modi Government has already successfully electrified 5,200 kilometres of railway lines.
Since Indian Railways banned the use of single use plastic which have thickness of 50 micron or less on 2nd of October 2019, all the railway officials (lower to top management) has been asked to reduce, and refuse the use of plastic items, in additional they are requested to reuse the plastic items as much as possible instead of throwing away after a couple of uses. Moreover, all the vendors who operate on the premises of the Indian Railways have been ordered to avoid the use of carry bags made out of plastics.
According to the announcement made by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, all the trains under Indian Railways will have Bio Toilets, which will make the railways tracks free from open-defecations and thus improve the environment. Over the last couple of years many of Indian Railway trains have been fitted with Bio Toilets. According to Piyush Goyal, the defecation on tracks is not only unhygienic but also an added cost to the ministry as the uric acid exuded from them damages the tracks, which increases the chances of accidents.
Indian Railways has not only installing solar panels atop the railways buildings and stations but trains as well. The solar panels are being under the ‘Make in India’ initiative and can give a power backup of upto 72 hours. Earlier in 2019, Indian Railways also plans to install 1,000 MegaWatt (10,00,000 KiloWatts) during 2020-2021. This will help Indian Railways to decrease the use of energy from non-renewable sources by 10%. New Delhi Railway Station, Anand Vihar Terminal, and the Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station are some of the railway stations that have all already started using solar energy.