With the spectre of drought looming large over several parts of the country, Indian Railway has decided to set up automatic coach washing plants at 10 major depots to save water required for cleaning trains.
A policeman stand guards a Central Railway train loading water to transport to drought affected Latur District from Miraj station near Sangli on Sunday. Pic/PTI
The plants will be equipped with an effluent treatment system and water softening plant for recycling water used for cleaning trains and platforms. There are 23 railway depots out of which we will set up modern washing plants with added facilities for treatment of water for reuse at 10 at an estimated cost of Rs 20 crore, said a senior Railway Ministry official involved in execution of green initiatives of the national transporter.
According to the official, the National Green Tribunal has taken note of excessive extraction of ground water by railways for cleaning coaches and platforms. About 12,000 litres to 14,000 litres of water is being used for cleaning one rake consisting of 22-24 coaches.
Automatic washing plant is eco-friendly and uses minimum quantity of water, soap and disinfectants. Further, water used for washing can be treated at the ETP plant and recycled.
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The automatic plant will require only 6,000 litres to clean a rake out of which 4,000 litres will be recycled water. The cumulative saving of fresh water will be 450 million litres per annum for 10 depots, the official said.
Besides, railways will also revive and conserve water bodies on rail land across the country. An action plan is being prepared to take stock of the condition of all such water bodies, he said, adding instructions have been issued to protect, preserve and rejuvenate them on priority basis.