New Delhi: Stepping up efforts to make environment better, the railways has set a target to install bio-toilets in all coaches to ensure the entire rail network as zero discharge zone by 2019.
“Our target was to install bio-toilets in all our coaches by 2021. But now we have advanced it to 2019,” Railway Board Chairman AK Mital said at the World Environment Day function in New Delhi.
According to the action plan, railways will install 1.40 lakh bio-toilets in about 55,000 coaches in the next three years.
Railways has installed about 37,000 bio-toilets in coaches till now. Referring to the severe water crisis that the country is facing, Mital said there is a need to save every drop of water.
Railways has also set a target of increasing the use of bio-diesel upto 5 per cent of its total diesel consumption and also to focus on clean fuel like solar and wind energy to reduce emission in a significant way.
Besides, it will ensure environment friendly disposal of all kinds of waste being generated in the rail premises while setting up waste to energy plants at major stations.
“Whether it is for horticulture purpose, washing platforms or coaches potable water should not be used,” he said adding “washing plants are being set up to recycle water.”
Currently railways has about 32 water recycling plants and is generating about 12 million water per day.
“Our target is to reach 200 million litres per day by setting up more such plants at major stations in the coming years,” he said. Besides recycling plants, railways has conducted energy audits and water audits to reduce energy and water use in a considerable way.
On air quality, he said “It is very important to reduce the emission level through use of clean fuel and also by increasing rail share in transportation.”
Mital said there is also a move to shift road traffic to rail and for that investment in rail infrastructure has increased in comparison to the past. Currently railways share is about 30 per cent and we want it to increase upto 45 per cent to 50 per cent, he added.
Railways has also undertaken series of steps to plant trees and preserve water bodies at railway land across the country. In order to carry out the environment-related projects in a focused manner, railways has created a separate directorate for it.
It has also been decided that one per cent of cost of each rail works will be earmarked for environment projects.