Railways has firmed up plans to reduce the carbon footprint in its operations through a series of measures like rapid electrification of tracks and substantial generation of solar and wind energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuel. “Our aim is to use clean energy in a big way by generating 1000 MW solar energy and 200 MW wind energy by 2020 in order to decarbonise the Railways,” said Railway Board Member (Traction) A K Kapoor here. Currently, Railways is responsible for generating 22 million tons of carbon dioxide per year.
He said electrification of major rail routes will also result in reduction in carbon footprint in train operations. “Our aim is to electrify 90 per cent of busy routes so that electric locomotives can replace diesel locos. This will not only result in reduction in pollution but also saving the expenditure on fossil fuel as majority of diesel is imported, Kapoor said. Railways has already replaced diesel locos of 70 pairs of Mail/Express trains with electric locos. “We have been able to save Rs 200 cr on account of diesel consumption from the replacement of diesel locos with electric ones,” he added. Railways has set a target of electrification of 24,000 km long route by 2020. At present 28,000 km rail route is electrified and majority of non-electrified route is in Northeast Frontier zone.
Railways is organising an International conference on ‘Decarbonization of Indian Railways Mission Electrification’ on November 3 here which aims at bringing various stakeholders on a common platform for exchange of ideas and to deliberate on implementable technological solutions and financing options to significantly increase pace of electrification and achieve the target for setting up of renewable energy installations with total capacity of 1000 MW by 2020. The conference will also project Indian Railways as an attractive investment destination considering its plans for huge investment in next 5 years towards modernization of its electrified network and use of renewable energy. The conference shall cover aspects relating to policy, technological modernization, mechanization, innovations and financing models for railway electrification and decarbonization.