Wednesday, September 12, 2018

100% railway electrification will reduce Indian Railways’ fuel bill by ₹ 13,510 crore/year and improve safety, capacity and speed
Wed, Sep 12 2018.  Jyotika SoodPrashant K. Nanda

100% railway electrification is expected to reduce consumption of high-speed diesel by about 2.83 billion litres per annum. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

New Delhi: Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved today the proposal for electrification of 13,675 route kilometres of railway tracks at a cost of ₹ 12,134.50 crore to make Indian Railways fully electrified by 2021-22.

The complete electrification of broad gauge routes of Indian Railways will have significant impact in areas of railway safety, capacity and speed, said the government, besides helping the national carrier save ₹ 13,510 crore per annum in fuel bill.

The planned railway electrification will also save 2.83 billion litres of high-speed diesel every year and reduce greenhouse emissions—thus improving the carbon footprint of the railways.

The proposed railway electrification, aimed at missing links and last-mile connectivity, will increase the operational efficiency, enhance line capacity and improve the average speed of trains. About 108 sections of Indian Railways will be electrified under this project.

At present, around two-thirds of freight and more than half of passenger traffic of the Indian Railways moves on electric traction. However, electric traction accounts for just 37% of the total energy expenses of Indian Railways.

According to a railway official, the electrification will also help reduce expenditure on maintenance of locomotives. An electric locomotive’s maintenance cost is ₹ 16.45 per thousand gross tonne kilometers (GTKM), while for a diesel locomotive it is ₹ 32.84 per thousand GTKM.

Gross Tonne Kilometres is a measure of total weight of locomotives and vehicles.

Railway minister Piyush Goyal said the approved railway electrification will reduce the use of imported fossil fuels, thereby improving India’s energy security.


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