July 24: The nation's first
Green Rail Corridor, a 114-km long Rameswaram-Manamadurai stretch in Tamil Nadu
which ensures zero toilet discharge on rail tracks, was today inaugurated by
Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu.
Trains in the section have been equipped with bio-toilets ensuring zero
discharge of human waste on the rail tracks.
Inaugurating the corridor through video-conferencing from here, Prabhu said his
ministry was committed to converting all toilets in railways to bio-toilets.
He said till March 2016, a total of 35,104 bio-toilets had been provided and
since then till last week 7,000 more new bio -toilets have been made operational.
"During 2016-17, our target is to provide 30,000 new bio-toilets and the
benefits are obvious," he said adding the initiative will also bring down
maintenance cost significantly.
"Before end of March next year, the line to (from Jammu) Katra will also
be human waste free," he said.
He also inaugurated high speed upgraded Wi-Fi facility, set up in association
with Google, at Chennai Central Railway Station and a similar facility at
Tiruchirappalli through video conferencing. The Wi-Fi amenities were part of
the digital India plan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said.
He launched a traditional medicine centre under Ayush at Perambur Railway
Hospital here, a broad gauge line between Thiruvallur and Thiruvalangadu
stations on the Chennai-Arakkonam line.
On developing rail infrastructure, he said the Tamil Nadu government should go
for a Joint Venture with Railways like other southern States.
"I know we want to do more for Tamil Nadu. And for that, I had requested
(Chief Minister) Jayalalitha, one of the great leaders of the state and India,
madam ji to join hands with us so that we can have a JV for development,"
The Minister said he had written to Jayalalithaa only a few days ago on the
matter. He said Tamil Nadu's neighbouring states of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh,
Telangana and Karnataka, had agreed for JV with the Railways.
"So, we are awaiting a response from your state," he said hailing
Jayalalithaa as "dynamic."
Referring to high speed network plans, he cited increasing speed of trains from
110 to 160 kmph in the Chennai Bengaluru sector, and between New Delhi and
"The idea is that we should try to bring in high speed network to all the
people of India which will help bring in a complete transformation."
To develop the high speed network, work was on to devise strategies, one of
which was using Talgo coaches and a trial with 180 kmph speed run with full
load had been completed.
"Completion of trial between Mumbai and Delhi (will happen) in the next
few days. If it is successful, it has been successful so far, then we will ask
them to manufacture in India under PM s Make in India programme," Prabhu