NEW DELHI: Going ahead with its measures, Indian Railways has decided to prepone its target to install bio-toilets in its entire fleet of 65,000 coaches to ensure the entire rail network as zero discharge zone by 2019 from earlier target of 2021.
The railway has so far installed 37,000 bio-toilets in 10,000 coaches and will install 1.40 lakh bio-toilets in about 55,000 coaches in the next three years.
"Our target was to install bio-toilets in all our coaches by 2021. But now we have advanced it to 2019," said Chairman Railway Board A K Mital.
As part of environment friendly measures, Railway has also set a target of increasing the use of bio-diesel upto 5 percent of its total diesel consumption and also to focus on clean fuel like solar and wind energy.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in rail budget has announced waste to energy plants at major stations for environment friendly disposal of all kinds of waste being generated in the rail premises.
An independent assessment of solid waste management by an environmental group found that an estimated 670 tonnes per day of solid waste is generated at 402 major railway stations and only 8 percent is treated. There is a potential of over 50 percent across railways and public transporter needs to tap it.
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 percent and we want it to increase upto 45 percent to 50 percent, he added.
A separate environment directorate has been created to take green measures and it has also been decided that one percent of cost of each rail works will be earmarked for environment projects. Railways has also undertaken series of steps to plant trees and preserve water bodies at railway land across the country.