The Ministry of Railways has signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to formalise the joint cooperation in the area of environmental conservation. Representatives of Indian Railways and UNEP signed and exchanged LoI for exploring the opportunity and developing a joint cooperation mechanism in the field of environment& sustainabilityThe focussed areas identified for joint activities would be to:
a. Collaborate in formulating specific roadmap for achieving 20 per cent reduction in water consumption at railway establishments.
b. Collaborate in the development of a draft action plan for establishing waste management centres at major stations on Indian Railways.
c. Collaborate in the development of a Draft action plan for Indian Railways on sustainable public procurement for green technology.
While the Indian Railways welcomes this partnership, its priority in Railways is to reduce the carbon footprints, which will help the public at large. After this partnership, opportunities are large to work for environment conservation in collaboration with UNEP. Railway is already taking several green initiatives and is going to produce 1,000 MW solar energy. This joint co-operation will help Indian Railways in its green objectives.
According to UNEP, the focus of this partnership is on three main areas: Waste management, which is important for community; reduction in water consumption, which is core of environment issues; and sustainable public procurement. Indian Railways is a major procurement agency. The focus should be to move towards a greener state.