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Government of India has set a target of reducing emission intensity by 33% as part of its NDCs

The Government of India has set a target of reducing emission intensity by 33% as part of its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), with the transport sector being one of the key sectors with significant mitigation potential. One of the most important transport mitigation strategies agreed to by the Indian government was to increase the share of Indian railways in freight movement from the current ~35-36% to 45% by 2030.

Indian Railways plays a major role in contributing to India’s NDC to combat climate change in several ways:

1. Increase the share of railways in total ground freight transport from the current 36% to 45% by 2030 ,Indian Railways is setting up Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFC) across the country. The first phase of the project alone is estimated to reduce emissions by approximately 457 million tons of CO2 over a 30-year period, Increase the share of renewable energy in your energy mix.

2.Railways to further improve their energy efficiency for both diesel and electric traction, thereby facilitating the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the country, PAT scheme will be implemented in railway sector , Use of 5% admixture of biofuels in traction diesel.

3.Improve water use efficiency by 20% by 2030, Tree plantation to increase carbon sink, Waste management and pollution control, Adoption of best practices for green buildings, industrial units and other facilities to manage resources and infrastructure to achieve environmental sustainability while growing IR.

4. Contribution to “Swachh Bharat Mission”,  IR has set a goal to become a “Net Zero” entity by 2030 by completing the electrification of all railway lines.

Indian Railways has taken steps to streamline its environmental management initiatives, with some notable initiatives including energy efficiency management, renewable and alternative energy sources, water conservation, afforestation, water management and green certification.

The reforms undertaken by the Indian Railways since 2014 can be broadly categorized into the following areas:

Net Zero Carbon Emissions:-

• IR plans to gradually reduce its carbon footprint and become a net zero carbon emitter by 2030. IR will try to reduce its carbon footprint primarily by providing its energy requirements from renewable energy sources. By 2029-30, the expected requirement to install renewable capacity should be around 30 GW. IR has installed 142 MW of rooftop solar capacity and 103.4 MW of wind power by August 2022. Other strategies towards a net zero emitter include a multifaceted approach to electrify its routes, switching from diesel to electric traction, promoting energy efficiency, building dedicated freight corridors, green certification of railway facilities, etc.

• IR electrified 52,508 RKM of the total BG network of 65,141 RKM (80.61%), With 100% electrification, electricity demand will increase to around 72 BU by 2029-30 from 21 BU in 2019-20. Business-as-usual carbon emissions by 2029-30 are estimated at 60 million tonnes, which would be offset by various measures planned by IR.

 Water Policy 2017 edition for efficient water management:-

Water Policy 2017 has been issued to all Zonal Railways and Manufacturing Units for implementation in Railway Stations, Trains, Railway Colonies etc. It is a part of overall effort to achieve 20% reduction in water consumption by 2020 by Government of India as part of Nationally Determined Contribution. The main objective of this policy is to improve the efficiency of water use by effective supply and demand management, installation of water efficiency systems and establishment of water recycling plants on railway land.

 Creating another carbon sink through afforestation

Afforestation on free railway land and between sections is carried out by railway departments. In line with the railways’ commitment to environmental improvement and sustainable development, state forest departments are involved in tree planting, maintenance and disposal, As of 2017, IR plants around 1 million trees annually. During the year 2021-22, 72 thousand saplings were planted.

Waste management:-

• Energy/composting/biogas/material recovery facilities have been established at more than 250 waste management stations. Separate containers for dry and wet waste were available for sorting waste at source. Green Certification/Operation Consent from State Pollution Control Board since 2015. Approximately 700 railway stations have been certified for the implementation of an environmental management system according to ISO:14001

• More than 545 stations have obtained Consent to Operate (CTO) from the concerned State Pollution Control Board. 31 railway buildings (including offices, training institutes, hospitals and schools), 32 stations and 55 workshops/PUs received green certification.

Policy for allotment of 1% cost of all sanctioned works for execution of environment related works:-

In order to limit the impact of activities on the environment and to protect the environment, a policy was issued in May 2016 that envisages allocation of 1% of the cost of all sanctioned works for the execution of environment-related works.

Cleanliness of trains and stations:-

Cleanliness of trains and railway stations has gained strength in the last 08 years with increasing number of mechanized cleaning contracts at stations and coaches in trains, rag collection and waste disposal contracts at stations and on-board cleaning (OBHS) contracts. trains.

Ecological bio-toilets for passenger buses:-

Eco-friendly bio-toilets for passenger buses have been developed by Indian Railways (IR) in collaboration with Defense Research & Development Organization (DRDO). By March 2014, 3,647 cars were equipped with 9,587 biotoilets. With the installation of 2,58,990 bio-toilets in nearly 73,110 coaches by March 2021, the installation of bio-toilets in all coaches carrying passengers on Indian Railways has been successfully completed.Direct discharge of human waste from trains has thus been eliminated in line with the ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’.

Third party audit/survey including passenger feedback on cleanliness:-

A third party audit surveying the cleanliness of the main stations was initiated in 2016 and repeated in 2017, 2018 and 2019. In 2018, the first-ever third-party audit was conducted to survey the cleanliness of important trains. These surveys provide an independent assessment and also instill a sense of healthy competition in improving cleanliness in passenger interface areas.

Standard Tender Document for Station and Train Cleaning and General Terms and Conditions for Services:-

The Standard Bidding Document (SBD) (August 2017) and General Conditions of Contract for Services (GCCS) (February 2018) were issued to improve the efficiency of cleaning/cleaning contracts with a particular focus on passenger interface areas.

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