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Railways to soon be ‘net zero’ contributor to pollution

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set the target to transform the Railways into a green transporter. Union Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal informed the Lok Sabha that the Railways is working on plan to become ‘net zero’ contributor to pollution.

Replying to discussion on demand for grants for the Ministry of Railways, Goyal said, “Prime Minister has set a new target for the Railways. Encroachment is a perennial issue of the vacant Railway land. Prime Minister has set a target to set up 20000 MW solar power capacity on the vacant land of the Railways, which will meet all the electricity requirements of the transporter.”

Goyal said that the Railways is working for 100 per cent electrification of the network across the country.

“A total of 610 kms of rail tracks were electrified till 2014. In 2018-19, a total of 5200 km of tracks were electrified and up to February this year the Railways has electrified 6000 kms,” added Goyal. Speaking at length of “360-degree” approach in the Railways, Goyal said that the government is going at the root of the issues to find sustainable solutions.

“Rail coach cleaning has been a water-intensive work in the past. The Railways has brought in automatic coach cleaning plants after which there has been 96 per cent savings of water. Now the same work is being done with 900 litres of water against 16500 litres used earlier. Soon, the investment will be made up with the savings on expenses done with previous processes,” said Goyal.