The Indian Railways has undertaken a number of major initiatives to mitigate global warming and combat climate change. They have completed electrification of more than 40,000 route kilometres since 2014 and are targeted another 7,000 route kilometres for 2020-21.
Over 63 per cent of the broad-gauge routes are now electrified.
“All routes on the broad-gauge network have been planned to be electrified by December 2023. Indian Railways is focusing on electrification of the last-mile connectivity and missing links,” said a railway spokesperson.
Around 365 km of major connectivity work has been commissioned during Covid-19 period. During the nationwide lockdown, the railways commissioned 99 route kilometres in the Katni-Satna section of Mumbai-Howrah route via Allahabad, thus providing an alternate route to Howrah.
Similarly, 88 route kilometres of Pachore-Maksi section on the Indore-Guna-Bina route has also been commissioned, providing an alternate route to Maksi-Bhopal-Bina.
The official said that the railways has also taken a number of initiatives to promote solar energy.
“The Indian Railways is working to harness the potential of 500 Mega Watt (MW) energy through rooftop solar panels. Till date, solar plants with 100-MW capacity have been commissioned on rooftops of 900 rail stations,” he said.
“Solar plants with a combined capacity of 400 MW are under different stages of execution. Tenders are already awarded for 245 MW and the target for the completion of these plants is December 2022.”
The Indian Railways have over 51,000 hectares of land pool. They are trying to produce power from land-based solar installations for running trains.
These 51,000 hectares hold the potential to set up 20 GW land-based solar plants. The solar power generated will be fed to a central or state grid or directly to 25 kV AC traction system.
One project of 1.7 MW in Madhya Pradesh in collaboration with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has been installed and is under extensive testing.
“This is the first-of-its-kind solar project in the world,” he said.