NEW DELHI, July 13 (Xinhua) -- Indian Railways is considering measures to drastically reduce its dependence on coal and shift towards alternative cleaner fuels, Indian Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu said Thursday.
"As both traffic and freights are going to increase in the future, the Indian Railways face twin challenges of mitigating the green house gas emissions and meeting the market demands," he said in the national capital.
Coal forms a large chunk of fuel consumption by the state-owned Indian Railways.
The minister had last month said that the Indian Railways will reduce its dependence on conventional fuels such as diesel by further track electrification.
"Reducing dependence on conventional fuels is priority for environment conservation and we are targeting electrification of the railway tracks so that the use of diesel may get nominal," Prabhu said on the occasion of World Environment Day.
The Indian Railways is one of the largest train networks in the world, criss-crossing the country. It operates 9,000 passenger trains and carries some 18 million passengers every day.