Wednesday, December 30, 2009

RTA outlines environmental & sustainability plan of rail projects 2010

RTA outlines environmental & sustainability plan of rail projects 2010

Dubai (Roads & Transport Authority): Fahad Al Ma’amari:

Rail Agency at Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) has outlined its environmental and sustainability work plan 2010; which is based on RTA Strategic Plan aiming at curbing pollution and conserving the environment.

“RTA Rail Agency has based its environmental and sustainability work plan 2010 on two key axes; the first one is implementation and application of the environmental management system across the Rail Agency through compliance with the international environmental standards (ISO 14001). The second one is sustainability of environmental enforcement and audit; which is viewed as an extension of the international environmental standards as well as a strategic goal of the RTA (minimizing the negative environmental effects of transportation)” said Mohammed Al Ruwaished, Director of Quality, Health, Safety & Environment Dep’t at RTA Rail Agency”.

He continued: “The Agency is counting on several factors to help realize its environmental strategic plans. Much emphasis is given to assigning due consideration to the standards of green buildings and sustainability in all future rail projects; which will conserve the environment and increase the lifespan of these projects. It will also ensure safe and smooth mobility for all segments of the society in a way that serves the principles of sustained development (protecting the environment, community welfare, customer satisfaction, and economic prosperity). More emphasis is also made on minimizing the waste of building projects, and methods of saving power and water consumption.

Rail Agency is seeking to protect the environment through various means including conducting a study to assess the environmental effect and enforcement program coupled with deeply rooted preventive measures that care for various environmental aspects such as noise & air pollution and vibrations during the construction phase of the project. Due consideration has also been given to the operational period as it contributes to curbing the environmental pollution which might result from the operation of Dubai Metro, so it is imperative to check the best environmental practices adopted in this regard. Studies concluded that trains are among the best transport modes as they minimize the environmental pollution and conserve the environment as much as 3 folds vehicles and aircrafts. The Agency is therefore exploring the possibility of increasing rail projects in the emirate up to 2030 over and above the existing projects (Dubai Metro and Sufouh Tram).

Al Ruwaished added: “There are environmental stipulations which we have to comply with such as not to exceed the noise levels permissible in the emirate of Dubai as monitored by the enforcement systems in place, where in 2009 Rail Agency has achieved a compliance rate with permissible thresholds as high as 95% or more. The Agency is also observing other stipulations such as dust control, introducing preventive measures to prevent the blowing of dust, and safe disposal of waste resulting from construction of rail projects. These conditions are complied with under a regime that encompasses carrying out environmental auditing and inspection on monthly basis through visiting the metro and tram construction sites to take notes and forward them in reports submitted to the Consultants for taking appropriate corrective actions”.

“Monthly meetings are being held with the Consultant and Contractor to debate the outstanding environmental issues and assist in working out solutions to reduce the environmental effects that may impact the environment and the community. The Dep’t pays serious attention to tracking public complaints and taking instant measures in their response; particularly those related to high noise and ground vibration levels resulting from rail project activities” concluded the Director of Quality, Health, Safety & Environment Dep’t at RTA Rail Agency.

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