CHENNAI: Just how green is Chennai Central? Nobody can claim to have an answer right now, not even the railways. However, the answer might soon be in the offing, as the railways board has sought green ratings for its stations.
As a pilot project, five stations, namely Jaipur, Varanasi, New Delhi, Secunderabad and Chennai, have been identified. These stations are set to be evaluated by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) to determine environmental sustainability and efficiency in resource utilisation. Eventually, there are plans for railways to seek green ratings for all major stations in the country.
IGBC is one of the two main green rating agencies in the country (the other being GRIHA), and has drawn up different categories (Certificate, Silver, Gold and Platinum) under which ratings will be issued.
A senior railway official told Express that it is a first of its kind initiative. “In a meeting, which took place in January, railways board made a list of draft criteria for green stations,” he said.
A team from IGBC has already visited Chennai for a pre-assessment, and is due to give railways its recommendations. “We’ll submit a final document that will be scrutinised by IGBC, which will be followed by a site visit. The aim is to obtain ratings by October this year,” the official said.
Among challenges faced by railways in its bid to go green is waste management and improving efficiency in resource utilisation. In that regard, LED lights have been installed in all platforms of Central, barring one which will happen soon.
There are also plans to tap into solar energy by installing panels on top of platforms. “To address water problems, we’re already recycling about 3 lakh litres of used water,” the official said.
Besides, a solid waste management plant of 14.5 tpd (tonnes per day) capacity will come up at Chennai Central, that will help convert waste to electricity, he added.