Friday, 27 February 2015

RENEWING THE TRACK; OPPORTUNITY FOR GREEN ENTITIES IN RAILWAY BUDGET 2015-16:  Indian Railways is considered to be the lifeline of the nation. Unlike previous budgets which were more popular and less practical, the budget 2015-16 pushes the Railways more towards a development oriented track and, most importantly, with scope for GREEN ENTITIES to participate in this new journey. Following are some important provisions to note:

1. Solar Push: To reduce dependence on fossil fuels, it is intended to expand sourcing of Solar Power as part of the Solar Mission of Railways. Indian Railways ("IR") to have 1000 MW solar plants set up by developers on IR/privates land and on rooftop of railway buildings at their own cost with subsidy/viability gap funding support of Ministry of New And Renewable Energy ("MNRE") in next 5 (five) years. 

2. Bio-Toilets: With this assessment that condition of toilet facilities in stations and trains requiring major overhaul, IR plans to build new toilets covering 650 additional stations compared to 120 stations last year. Bio-toilets are being fitted in coaches. So far IR has replaced the existing toilets with 17,388 bio toilets. This year i.e. 2015-16 IR plans to replace another 17,000 toilets. Research, Design and Standards Organisation ("RDSO") is also in the run for developing a design for vacuum toilets which design is expected in 6 six months.

3. Waste-to-Energy Plant: IR plans to set up ‘waste to energy’ conversion plants near major coaching terminals to dispose waste in an environment-friendly manner. One pilot plant will be set up, to begin with, followed by more plants in a phased manner.

4. LEDing the Railways: IR, being the largest consumer of electricity, wants to give thrust to reduce energy consumption. One of the proposed area would be adoption of energy efficient LED luminaries, appliances, etc. Aaction plan will be drawn after detailed energy audit.

5. CNGine: CNG based Diesel Electric Multipurpose Units ("DEMU") have been introduced on Northern Railway division of IR and IR now proposes to convert 100 DEMUs to dual fuel – CNG and diesel. This CNG will essentially make place for bio-gas or bio- CNG and bost the demand.

WHAT TO BE DONE: WATCH OUT for tenders http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/

WHAT TO BE KEPT IN MIND: 100% FDI through automatic route is permitted in renewable energy sector.

Budget Highlights: http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/railwayboard/uploads/directorate/finance_budget/Budget_2015-16/English_Speech_Highlights_2015-16.pdf

Complete Budget Speech: http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/railwayboard/uploads/directorate/finance_budget/Budget_2015-16/Railway_Budget_Speech_2015-16%20(English).pdf



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