New Delhi: With a view to creating awareness amongs masses about exceptional biodiversity of the country, a "Science Express Biodiversity Special (SEBS) Train" started its journey from Safdarjung Railway Station here today.
Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, Environnment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit flagged off the train--a collaborative initiative of the Environment Ministry, Department of Science and Technology, the Indian Railways, the Vikram Sarabhai Community Science Centre and the Centre for Environment Education.
Speaking on the occasion, Natarajan said the train is a "magnificent example of synergy of efforts among different ministries".
She also announced the commitment of her Ministry to running the train in 2014 also. She said this will coincide with the final year of India`s Presidency of the Conference of Parties on climate change and perform an important function of bringing biodiversity knowledge to the doorsteps of millions of people.
"We look forward to SEBS contributing significantly in our commitment to "Prakriti Rakshati Rakshtam"-- Nature protects if she is protected," the Minister said.
Under the second phase of programme, the SEBS will cover 62 stations over next 6 months. Of the 16 coaches of Science Express- Biodiversity Special, 8 are solely dedicated to showcasing the myriad biodiversity spread across all the bio-geographical zones of India.
Bansal said the train has been quite popular in its earlier editions.
The Railway Minister said railway is gradually introducing bio-toilets is panels coaches.
Dikshit said the train not only give people ideas of biodiversity of India but also bring the country together.
She said Delhi government has started an awareness campaign highlighting the importance of flora and fauna. "We have also declared sparrow as Delhi bird", she added.