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With Vande Bharat Express, Railways makes a green push

According to a senior officer, the railways have adopted various environment-friendly measures in Vande Bharat Express that would help reduce its use of harmful chemicals.

india Updated: Mar 04, 2019 08:02 IST
Faizan Haidar
Faizan Haidar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Vande Bharat Express,Railways,environment
India’s first semi-high speed express train, Vande Bharat Express, is also the first ‘green train’ of the Indian Railways, two officials familiar with the matter said. (File Photo)

India’s first semihigh speed express train, Vande Bharat Express, is also the first ‘green train’ of the Indian Railways, two officials familiar with the matter said.

According to a senior officer, the railways have adopted various environment-friendly measures that would help reduce its use of harmful chemicals. First among them, an officer said, was ensuring the use of waterbased organic solvents, instead of chemicals, for cleaning purposes. Besides, the seats, the glasses and the floor of the train have been coated with a German material that doesn’t allow the dust to settle on the surface, making cleaning easier, he added.

The coating will last for three years at least, he said. Use of organic fumigants for disinfecting the train is another such measure adopted by the Railways to reduce the use of chemicals. An officer said another benefit of using organic fumigants was that while chemical fumigants rendered trains unfit for use for at least four hours, their organic alternatives are inhalation safe. Hence, trains, once fumigated, could be immediately put to commercial use. “We are first cleaning the train with water-based solvents and then an organic coating of micron size is put on the seats, the floor, the glasses and the toilets… This saves both time and water required for cleaning,” said a senior railway official. The European railways have implemented similar ecofriendly measures, he added.

“The organic coating will also protect the train from graffiti, reduce water usage by up to 80% and it is non toxic... We are also using organic cleaners, with 100% natural extracts. The mosquito fumigants used are entirely based on natural ingredients like icardin recommended by World Health Organisation…,” said Arun Arona, chief mechanical engineer, Indian Railways.

Arora said the implementation of the eco-friendly measures have reduced the water consumption of Railways from 14 kilo litre to 400 litre. In terms of the expenditure incurred, too, the environment-friendly measures are proving to be easy on the exchequer’s pocket, the officer said. The chemical cleaners cost around ~1,000 per coach per day, the organic method costs around ~900, he added. “It is good that railway is using different method to save water but they should control the wastage of water at stations,” said Sri Prakash, who retired as Member (traffic) of Indian Railways in 2009.

First Published: Mar 04, 2019 07:55 IST