New Delhi: Besides being India’s fastest train, the Vande Bharat Express is also the Indian Railways’ first “green train”, sources said. The Railways have taken many eco-friendly steps that would help cut the use of harmful chemicals, said a top official, who pointed out that the European railways have adopted similar green measures.
In place of chemicals, the train uses water-based organic solvents for cleaning purposes. Additionally, the seats, glasses and the floor have been covered a German material that prevents dust from settling on the surface, one source said. The source added that the covering will last for at least three years.
Organic mosquito fumigants
The railways will also use mosquito fumigants based on organic substances like icardin, a chemical compound. Although chemical fumigants in trains make them unfit for use for four hours at least, their organic alternatives are safe to inhale, an officer said.
“We are first cleaning the train with water-based solvents and then an organic coating of micron size is put on the seats, the floor, the glasses and the toilets. This saves both time and water required for cleaning,” said a senior railway official.
“The organic coating will also protect the train from graffiti, reduce water usage by up to 80 percent and it is non-toxic. We are also using organic cleaners, with 100 percent natural extracts. The mosquito fumigants used are entirely based on natural ingredients like icardin, recommended by World Health Organisation,” said Arun Arora, chief mechanical engineer, Indian Railways.
Not just eco-friendly, but pocket friendly too
While chemical methods for cleaning the train costs around Rs 1,000 per coach each day, organic cleaners cost around Rs 900, he added.
By putting in place environmental-friendly measures, the Railways have cut its water consumption from 14 kilo litre to 400 litre, Arora said.
“It is good that railway is using different method to save water but they should control the wastage of water at stations,” said Sri Prakash, who retired as Member (traffic) of Indian Railways in 2009.