Ekta Nagar: Western Railways are pushing a “green corridor” project at the newly built Ekta Railways station in Gujarat. The railways are converting the entire 6 to 7-kilometer distance between the station and the Statue of Unity (SOU) into a green corridor.
As part of the “green corridor” project, the railways have undertaken a number of initiatives, including the renting and leasing of electric vehicles, the installation of EV charging stations, and the operation and management of parking lots.
According to Purushottam Kumar, Divisional Commercial Manager of Vododara division, the railways had already floated a tender for setting up the EV charging points, which will be closed down on February 28th. Kumar stated that under the terms of the contract, the private company will install 51 EV charging stations and will also operate its own electric vehicles.
The station’s parking space, which is approximately 10,500 square feet, will also be managed by a private entity. “The contract will be for 5 years and will generate approximately Rs. 18.27 lacs per annum,” he said.
“Plying green vehicles in the SOU area will ensure a green corridor that will help the entire area be free of pollution and harmful gas emissions,” he said of the project’s significance.
Sumit Thakur, Western Railway’s chief spokesperson, explained the project, saying that such initiatives not only reduce the operational costs of the railways but are also beneficial to the environment in the surrounding area.
According to the railways, the station is also outfitted with LED lights and energy-saving electrical appliances.
Rainwater harvesting, a sewage treatment plant, eco-waterless urinals, and drip irrigation are also used to manage water at the station. Green waste that has been separated at the source will be reused to produce fertiliser while also reducing waste.
The Kevadiya station, which was inaugurated by the Prime Minister last year, is the country’s first railway station to have received “green building” certification from the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) since its inception.
Indian Railways, the world’s fourth-largest railway network in terms of size, has begun a multi-pronged strategy to go green and decarbonize, ranging from increasing its sourcing of renewable energy (RE) to electrifying its traction network and reducing energy consumption.
Railways have set a goal of becoming the world’s first net-zero emission railway by 2030, according to a recent report.
According to the report, if this occurs, it could result in an annual emissions reduction of at least 15 million tonnes of CO2, assisting India in meeting 5% of its Nationally Determined Contributions target, as well as saving Rs 17,000 crore in fuel costs and other savings per year.
The Railways ministry has installed solar panels at over 960 stations and is using solar power to meet railway station energy needs.
Bids have also been submitted for the installation of 198 MW of solar panels on the rooftops of 550 railway stations.
The railways are also rapidly progressing toward becoming the world’s first green railways, with a tentative goal of electrifying all broad-gauge routes by December 2023.