Ministry of Railways organized a Roundtable discussion today i.e. 11.01.17 (Wednesday) inviting various non-railway stakeholders on Environmental and Housekeeping Issues. Minister for Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu was the Chief Guest and Minister of State for Railways Shri Rajen Gohain was the Guest of Honour. Chairman, Railway Board, Shri A. K. Mital, Member Rolling Stock, Railway Board Shri Ravindra Gupta, other Railway Board Members and senior officials were also present on the occasion at Rail Bhawan. Over 50 experts and professionals from various organizations like The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI), Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation (SHAKTI), Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL), Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), Council for Energy Environment and Water (CEEW), RITES, World Resources Institute (WRI), Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA), De3lhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), Triveni, in the relevant domain participated in the discussion and provided valuable inputs towards Indian Railways’ current programme and initiatives in the field of Environment and Housekeeping.
Speaking at the Roundtable discussions, Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhu said that as a modern responsive organisation we cannot afford to work in isolation and we must tune ourselves to emerging trends in our economy and society. Roundtable discussions with external stakeholders will help in gaining perspectives, exchange knowledge and improving our workings. Managing operations with sustaining environment is a challenge, he added.
Shri Prabhu also said that Ministry of Railways is working on mainstreaming sustainability in our strategy. Having set up a separate Directorate for Environment, it is no more a peripheral activity, and now integrated with and complements the core activity. Land use optimization, afforestation, water bodies restoration, cleanliness are just some of the activities that the Railways are working on to ensure sustainability. Ministry of Railways is giving a big push to use renewable energy, electrification for ensuring sustainability and cost efficiency. He also expressed pleasure in interacting with representatives of various organisations: Government organisations, NGOs, think tanks, etc
Minister of State Shri Rajen Gohain said that Railway is the most environment friendly modes of transport. We are conscious of green issues and taking measures to go green wherever possible.
Indian Railways, the lifeline of the country, carrying 23 million passengers every day is the largest passenger carrying system in the world. Indian Railways is also the largest consumers of water as well as electricity. It is also considered as the “Green Transporter” due to reduced Greenhouse Gas emissions.
In order to endorse its commitment towards environment protection, a Round Table discussion has been held by the newly created Environment Directorate of Railways with various stakeholders involved in Environment and Housekeeping issues of Indian Railways. The key programmes under the Environment & Sustainability initiatives of Indian Railways were put forth before non-railway stakeholders consisting of Environment bodies, Water NGOs and NGOs working in the field of Housekeeping and cleanliness to seek valuable inputs on these initiatives.
The key programmes under the Environment & Sustainability initiatives of Indian Railways are Energy conservation measures, Water Management, Automatic Coach Washing Plants, Solid Waste Management, Green Buildings, Use of Renewable Energy Resources, Afforestation and meeting INDC targets.
Indian Railways has taken a series of steps to improve Station Cleanliness like Environment & Housekeeping Directorate set up at Board for focused planning & monitoring, Advised Zonal Railway to go for Integrated Housekeeping Contracts, Provision of increased number of Dustbins, Streamlining of Collection & disposal of Garbage from Trains, construction of more toilets at Railway Stations, Enforcement of Penalties under Anti-Littering Rules 2012, Use of CCTV for monitoring cleanliness work at Major stations and streamlining of station/division level service improvement groups.
Indian Railways has also taken a series of steps to improve Train Cleanliness with introduction of different apps like “Clean my Coach” already introduced in 700 trains, On Board Housekeeping Service extended to about 750 Mail/Express trains, Clean Train Station, Mechanized cleaning of trains, Mechanized laundry, Integrated Pest & Rodent Control for Trains, Depots and Stations, Proliferation of Bio-toilets in Passenger Coaches to eliminate open discharge from Train and making Green Sections. - PIB