PUNE: Indian Railways plans to utilise its unused vacant land parcels for setting up land-based solar plants for its traction power requirement as ‘Green mode of transportation’, thereby contributing towards its share in the reduction of emission of greenhouse gases.
As part of this, the Indian Railways has planned to set up 1000 MW solar power plant and about 200 MW wind power plants by 2021-22 across Zonal Railways and production units. The Railways has installed 100.99 MW solar and 103.4 MW wind power across Railway installations.
However, activists in the city said the announcements made by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, are unfavourable.
“Where’s the free land to instal solar panels along the tracks? We have been demanding that additional lines be laid between Pune and Mumbai so that more trains can run simultaneously. Railway has been ruing the shortage of space in its possession. Also, in and around Pune a lot of its land along the tracks and near stations has been encroached upon and illegal hutments have come up,” said Railway Pravasi Group President Harsha Shah.
She said the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed train project was originally supposed to connect Pune as well and governments have not worked towards this goal despite high demand.