Urban Railways

New energy conservation parameters for Metro rail components

Harnessing of solar energy, mandatory green building certification in detailed project reports (DPRs), and energy-efficient design to ensure natural lighting and ventilation are among several recommendations made by the ministry of housing and urban affairs (MoHUA) to reduce carbon footprints and cost of Metro rail systems.

These suggestions are part of the draft report on ‘Standardisation/Indigenisation of Electrical & Electromechanical Metro Rail Components’ circulated recently among all stakeholders including state authorities and other agencies to seek their feedback and inputs. Following a review of comments or feedback from the stakeholders, the specifications will be finalised.

“Metro Rail systems use electrical energy extensively. To reduce carbon footprints, harnessing solar energy to meet energy requirements should be explored…In a typical metro system, Solar Rooftop Photo Voltaic (SPV) power plant can be installed on station roofs, depot roof/ sheds, office buildings, parking areas, sub-station buildings, and staff quarters etc,” read an annexure to the report.

The report further suggests that interconnection or interchange of underground and elevated station area may be provided with natural lighting and ventilation or if required, high volume low speed large fans may be used in place of conventional air-conditioning.

“Already metro stations are being certified by the IGBC (Indian Green Building Council) as Green Buildings. Further, obtaining green building certification can be kept as an essential requirement in DPR,” states the draft.

‘Standard Specifications’ aim to bring uniformity in components being used in different systems in Metro rail operations including power supply, traction, tunnel ventilation, air-conditioning, fire alarm, elevators, noise control, and air filtration.

In 2022-23, it was announced that the design of metro systems including civil structures, will be reoriented and standardised for Indian conditions and needs. In view of the announcement, the ministry decided to revise the standard specifications of various metro rail components. Hence the draft report has been prepared after detailed and extensive deliberations. The original standard specifications were issued in August 2018.

Stressing the need for standardisation, the report notes that uniformity in specifications of equipment across all metro systems in the country at the procurement stage results in competitive prices, ease in operation & maintenance, faster design finalisation, and quicker delivery.

“The standardization will lead to more indigenisation as original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) will be assured of markets for their products developed and manufactured in India,” the report also states.