Giving top priority for clean environment, railways has decided to earmark one per cent of estimated cost of any project for environment works. It has been decided for making specific provision towards environmental works in the estimate for all works in railways, said a senior official involved with the green initiatives undertaken by the public transporter. Railways has recently carved out a new Environment Directorate for implementing environment-related projects like water conservation measures, tree plantation at vacant rail land or solid waste management at stations.
It will be compulsory now to make provision for environment-related works as part of all rail projects, the official said. As per the plan, railways will take measures for mitigation of air and water pollution during construction and operation and steps for natural air-conditioning of the building and geo-thermal cooling. He said generation of solar power is being taken up in a mjaor way as per the decision railways-run hospitals, buildings, stations, level crossing gates and signalling equipment will be using solar energy. Railways has also launched a massive tree plantation drive aiming to plant five crore tress at vacant rail land near stations and buildings.
Railways has recently made some coaches operational with solar power. All lights and fans of those coaches are now operational with solar power, he said. As far as water conservation is concerned, railways has undertaken steps for rain water harvesting system in rail buildings and water recycling plants will also be set up at a few selected stations.