Efforts on to make stations garbage-free

In a bid to clean railway stations in the Capital, the Northern Railway has helped NGO Chintan to set up a bottle-crushing machine at the New Delhi station.

“The units has become functional and is handling 6,000 bottles a day,” said a senior railway official. The NGO is also running a garbage segregation facility at the station.

The four major railway stations, including New Delhi, generates 80 tonnes of solid waste, mostly used water bottles, per month. The Northern Railway has provided a site for waste segregation to the NGO, where 135 waste-pickers help recycle about 30 per cent of the total waste.

“Two machines — one for cutting bottles from the cap area and another for crushing —have started operating at the New Delhi station. Every day, we are now handling nearly 6,000 bottles taken off 20 trains coming to the station. They then sent for recycling. Earlier, we used to take bottles to places where these machines were available,” said Nidhi Mishra of Chintan.

On the occasion of Earth Day, senior railway officials inspected these facilities and promised further help. Hundreds of passengers took pledge that they will not litter the station premises and will always crush water bottles after use.

“Of the total waste generated, 40% is wet waste. The South Delhi Municipal Corporation takes this bit to its landfill at Okhla. The rest is dry and comprises paper, aluminum and plastic. This is sent for recycling,” said Mishra. The railways allowed Chintan to pick up waste and segregate it three years ago.


Railways look to solar power New Delhi station

In what could crown the New Delhi railway station as the first ‘green’ station in the city, the Delhi Division of Northern Railway is looking at the option of using solar energy to power the premises.

Under the pilot project, solar panel of 1 megawatt (MW) capacity will be installed in the non-utilised portion of the rooftop. Authorities highlighted the need to conserve energy and reduce the power bill of the station.

At present, New Delhi pays around Rs 1.5 crore as its monthly power bill and draws 5 MW electricity. “The solar panels will help reduce the dependence on the conventional source of power. We will install higher capacity solar panels in a phased manner,” Divisional Rail Manager A K Sachan said.

The panels will be installed on private public partnership. A private company will install the panels and the Railways will purchase the power from it on a fixed rate.

Solar panels will be installed above the roof of foot overbridges, terrace and other shelters of the station. “The private party will install and maintain the solar panels. The agreement would be for 5 to 10 years. The power tariff will be fixed so it benefits Railways and allows the concessionaire to recover initial investment,” Sachan said.

For the pilot project of 1 MW solar panel an expenditure of Rs 1.5 crore is expected.

The Railways will first have to invite bids to appoint a consultant to examine the modalities of the solar panels. The consultant will provide the technical assistance. “The consultant will study the load-bearing capacity of the rooftop to ascertain if pillars need to be strengthened. It will also check in the location where the maximum solar heat can be captured and the wind pressure,” another official said.

The consultant will be appointed by December-end and, based on the study, installation of solar panels would start next year, Sachan said.