On 22 March, a day internationally observed as World Water Day, the Indian Railways will attempt to do its bit to preserve water. The Railways aims to cut down its water bill and save crores annually with a roadmap for buying recycled water from private players.
Currently, the Railways buys water from the states and its water bill is about Rs 4,000 crore a year.
Senior Railway Ministry official The water policy envisages buying treated water from water treatment plants for two paise per litre, while we now purchase water for seven paise per litre.
This is the first water policy for the national transporter.
The policy includes a detailed framework for the setting up water treatment plants with private participation to generate an adequate amount of treated water for non-potable purposes.
The private players will be encouraged to set up these plants and the Railways will ensure the purchase of treated water from these units, said the official.
The water policy also envisages the revival of all the defunct water bodies on railway land across the country, various ways of recharging groundwater, including rainwater harvesting in all railway buildings.
The Railways official said the water policy is part of the commitment India has made to the UN under the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to reduce water consumption.
As a signatory to the United Nations Framework for Climate Change (UNFCC), India is committed to reducing water consumption by 20 percent by 2030.
(With inputs from PTI)