The foremost requirement to declare a station as 'eco-smart' is to make arrangements for zero discharge of untreated waste water in order to keep the railway station and its surrounding areas clean.
Indian Railways to have eco-friendly stations! The South Eastern Railway has recently launched a project to make all the railway stations under it environment-friendly. Out of its 362 railways stations that are spread over the states of Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal, the zone has started work in 21 stations for developing them as eco-friendly in the first phase. South Eastern Railways’ spokesperson Sanjay Ghosh was quoted in a PTI report saying that out of these 21 railway stations, significant progress has been made at Ranchi and Digha stations towards developing them as eco-smart railway stations, fulfilling the requisite criteria.
According to Ghosh, the foremost requirement to declare a station as ‘eco-smart’ is to make arrangements for zero discharge of untreated waste water in order to keep the railway station and its surrounding areas clean. The major railway stations will be taken up first in the endeavour, Ghosh said. The national transporter has decided to install Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) as well as Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) at all railway stations for zero discharge of untreated waste water, in a phased manner, he continued. He further said that these plants have already been commissioned at Digha railway station, while the work is nearing completion at Ranchi railway station. Both these stations have been awarded ISO 14001:2015 certification for Environment Management System, Ghosh said.
Besides, Digha and Ranchi stations, the other 19 railway stations which are being turned into eco-smart stations are Kharagpur, Bankura, Mecheda, Santragachi, Bishnupur, Purulia, Bagnan, Panskura, Shalimar, Adra, Balasore, Hatia, Tatanagar, Jhargram, Midnapur, Jharsuguda, Bokaro Steel City, Rourkela, and Chakradharpur. For conservation of water, water audits by third-party certification bodies are being arranged. Also, tanks will be built at the railway stations for collection of treated waste water for reuse, Ghosh said. The spokesperson said that the treated water from ETP and STP, installed at stations, will be collected in the collection tank and will be used for coach washing, gardening, and afforestation purpose.
The national transporter has decided to convert all conventional toilets into environment-friendly or green toilets at the eco-smart railway stations. Additionally, measures are being taken by Indian Railways to prevent open defecation near railway tracks and surrounding areas. Also, environment polluters are being identified as well as fine has been imposed at several railway stations in this regard, Ghosh added.