The pilot run of RO-RO (Roll-on-Roll-off) train was carried out successfully on Thursday. As many as 28 trucks were loaded on 20 wagons at Garhi Harsaru railway station by the railway officials.
This concept has been introduced in Delhi-NCR by Indian Railways with a view to reducing air and noise pollution as well as decongest the roads. The train will run daily and cover a distance of about 80 km to reach Murad Nagar in Uttar Pradesh.
At 3.15 am the train started from Garhi Harsaru station for Patel Nagar in Delhi where Suresh Prabhu, the railway minister, flagged it off as it chugged out for Murad Nagar in Uttar Pradesh, a railway official said. The train will cover all stations till Murad Nagar.
This initiative is aimed at reducing the carbon print from long-distance vehicles and cut their road travel through Delhi-NCR area.
“We examined the vehicles and loaded them on to the train with the help of ramps,” Dharamveer Singh, a wagon officer at Garhi Harsaru station said. At present, the service could be availed free of cost. The train will be back at the Garhi Harsaru station on Friday with a fresh load of trucks from Murad Nagar.
Garhi Harsaru, about 13 km from Gurgaon city, has a small railway station consisting of two platforms. These would be used to transport heavy vehicles on a regular basis.
Experts welcomed the move saying that it would help reduce air pollution. The idea behind rolling out this service was to tackle rising air pollution in the national capital region. The air quality in the NCR has been marked poor over the last three months.
Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director, research and advocacy and head of the air pollution and clean transportation programme, Centre for Science and Environment, said, “Long distance commercial vehicles, which enter Delhi-NCR, contribute to the rising air pollution. Hence, if there’s a service that enables these trucks to be ferried on a train, it would go a long way to reducing air pollution.”
Vikas Juneja, a leading transporter and logistics firm owner, said, “Most of the vehicles do not enter Delhi to avoid the entry tax of Rs 2,600. This will only benefit those who have to deliver goods in Delhi.”
However, the transporters said it is still too early to decide if the new service will prove beneficial. “We have to calculate the feasibility of the project. We would also have to factor in the timing of the train and the distance it will cover. All these factors need to be considered before we take a judgement call on this service,” Naveen Gupta, secretary general, All India Motor Transport Congress, said.