Indian Railways has set target to become net-zero carbon emitter by 2030, says Vaishnaw

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Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw (File image)

New Delhi: The Indian Railways has set a target of becoming a net-zero carbon emitter by 2030 and is committed to taking steps for energy conservation, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply on Wednesday.


Talking about the initiatives taken to achieve the target, Vaishnaw said, "Broad gauge networks of 60,814 kilometres have been electrified up to November 2023. Of these, 39,013 kilometres have been electrified during the period from April 2014 to November 2023 against 5,188 kilometres during 2004-14." He presented zone-wise details of the electrified network, according to which the Northern Railway -- at 6,799 route kilometres -- has achieved the highest electrification.

Vaishnaw was responding to questions from MPs Rahul Ramesh Shewale, Chandra Sekhar Sahu and Pritam Gopinath Munde, who wanted to know whether the Indian Railways was working towards achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 to become the world's largest "green" railway.

They also wanted to know the "details of the rail routes electrified till November 30, 2023, particularly in Maharashtra".


Vaishnaw said in his reply that 2,002 kilometres of broad gauge network has been electrified during 2023-24 up to November 2023, "including 146 kilometres broad gauge network falling in the state of Maharashtra. Electrification of balance broad gauge routes has been taken up".

On the question of developing dedicated freight corridors with a long-term low-carbon roadmap, the minister said, "The Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFCs) projects are expected to help in reducing the carbon emissions as DFC operation will bring efficiency in freight operations in the country by higher throughput per wagon, lower energy consumption and reduction in transit time." "Eastern DFC, which has been completed, and Western DFC, which is currently under implementation, are estimated to reduce emissions by about 457 million ton CO2 over a 30-year period," he added.

According to Vaishnaw, the Indian Railways has also issued a comprehensive policy for adoption of energy efficiency measures in non-traction applications that cover sustainable buildings, cloud-based data monitoring and management portal, and energy efficiency in equipment and appliances.

"The policy also provides for procurement of Bureau of Energy Efficiency 5-star rated equipment," Vaishnaw said while presenting 17 measures that the Railways has taken for energy conservation.