Bio-diesel Current Affairs - 2019
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Railways form the backbone of the Indian Transportation System. The Railways has undertaken following measures under its Go Green initiatives:
- Ministry of Railways has planned to set up 1000 Mega Watt (MW) solar power by 2020-21. This would help Railways to source about 10% of its electrical energy from renewable source.
- Wind energy plants of 36.5 MW have been installed by the Railways.
- Almost all electrified Railway stations and 99% of service buildings have been fitted with 100% LED luminaries by Indian Railways to reduce power consumption.
- Railways have started blending of 5% bio-diesel in High-Speed Diesel (HSD) for diesel locomotives.
- 20% Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) substitution in diesel engines of Diesel Power Cars of Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) trains and the introduction of solar energy based DEMUs.
- Tree plantation to increase green cover in Railway Premises.
- Water Audits at major consumption centres as well as the proliferation of Water Recycling Plants and Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) Systems as a step towards better water management.
- Assessment and rating of Indian Railway’s Production Units and major Workshops as Green Industrial Units.
- Nearly 163,000 bio-toilets have been installed in around 44,500 coaches.
- Increasing the pace of electrification to reduce the dependency on fossil fuels.
Also, the Ministry of Railways has taken a policy decision for allocating 1% cost in all sanctioned works for execution of environment-related works.
The South Western Railways (SWR) Zone with headquarters in Hubli, Karnataka has introduced biodiesel for trains, operating under its zone.
In this regard, SWR’s first train Hubballi-Bengaluru Janshatabdi Express powered by five per cent biodiesel blended with High Speed Diesel was flagged off from Hubli.
The main aim of the initiative is to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) emission and carbon footprint and also to make fuel consumption more efficient.
To meet its biodiesel demand, SWR zone has set up Biodiesel filling centres at Hubli, Bengaluru and Hospet. In next one year all the 13 railway depots within the zone will have their own filling units and the biodiesel blending will be gradually increased to ten percent.
- Biodiesel is a green fuel that provides quasi-renewable energy for cleaner alternatives as sustainable fuel for diesel locomotives and reduces dependency on fossil fuel especially diesel.
- It is commonly obtained from crops such as sugarcane, cassava, corn, potato, beetroot and recently from grapes, banana and dates etc.
- Union Government is promoting use of biodiesel in India Railways for the purpose of energy security, cleaner air and savings in foreign exchange along with employment opportunities in rural areas.