Indian Railways On Way To Become “Largest Green Railways” | Daily Current Affairs 2021

Indian Railways On Way To Become “Largest Green Railways”

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Indian Railways (IR) is moving towards becoming the world’s largest green railway network by achieving “net-zero carbon emission” by 2030.

Key Points:

In a statement on World Environment Day 2021, IR had stated that the railways are moving towards a complete green restart.

Along with the ambitious goal of achieving “net-zero carbon emission” by 2030, the IR is looking at helping the environment with steps ranging from massive electrification, water & paper conservation, to saving animals from being injured on Railway tracks.

Steps taken by IR to achieve net-zero carbon emission by 2030:

To achieve the net-zero carbon emission, IR has taken some of the following steps:

  • The Railways is developing Dedicated Freight Corridors (Eastern DFC and Western DFC) in the form of a low carbon green transportation network with a long-term low carbon roadmap which will enable it to adopt more energy-efficient and carbon-friendly technologies, processes and practices.
  • Indian Railways has adopted modern measures such as Head-On-Generation systems, Bio-Toilets and LED lights, automatic coach washing plants, and water conservation.
  • In 2016, an MoU was signed between Confederation of Indian Industry and IR to facilitate green initiatives on IR. Following this, 39 Workshops, 7 Production Units, 8 Loco Sheds and one Stores depot were ‘GreenCo’ certified.
  • Note: The Green certifications are allotted keeping in mind the sustainable development goals such as the use of renewable energy, energy conservation measures, water conservation, Green House Gas emission reduction, waste management, recycling and material conservation.
  • Climate Change features have been incorporated into Indian Railways’ risk assessments and disaster management protocols.
  • The Environment Sustainability Report, published annually by IR and subsidiary units, establishes a framework document defining strategies and focal points in the context of climate change, the issues at stake, and steps to address them. This helps the railways in helping support government commitments such as the Paris agreement on climate change, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and National Disaster Management Plans.

Background:

  • The IR is guided by a holistic vision of being an environmental-friendly, efficient, cost-effective, punctual and modern carrier of passengers as well as freight to serve the growing needs of New India.
  • The IR network has enabled movement of essential items such as food grains and even medical oxygen at the height of the pandemic while being more environmentally friendly as compared to Road transport.
  • The IR, between April 2021 and May 2021, moved about 73 Lakh tonnes of food grains and have run 241 loaded Oxygen express trains, moving 922 loaded tankers, thereby transporting 15,046 tonnes of oxygen to various part of the country. 

About IR:

  • IR refers to the Indian Railways.
  • IR is India’s national railway system operated by the Ministry of Railways.
  • It is among the world’s largest rail networks.
  • The first railway proposals for India were made in Madras in 1832.
  • The formal inauguration ceremony was performed on 16th April 1853.
  • The first passenger train in India ran between Bombay (Bori Bunder) and Thane.
  • The 14-carriage train was hauled by three steam locomotives: Sahib, Sindh and Sultan. It carried 400 people and ran on a line of 34 kilometres (21 mi) built and operated by the Great Indian Peninsula Railway.
  • The current Minister of Railways is Piyush Goyal.

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