The 66,000-km Indian railway network, which is also the world’s largest, is planned to be entirely electrified by 2021.
With electrification, hopefully, the apparent good news will come – a tremendous drop in pollution.
The Railways are the most significant single-point consumer of energy in India, guzzling more than 2,500 million litres of diesel and 16,000 million units of electricity.
So, how much does this gargantuan amount of fuel cost the ministry every year? Rs 10,500 crores.
The Railways have made a Rs 35,000 crore plan to electrify its entire network over the next four years, the Economic Times reported.
“We’re going for 100% electrification by 2021. This will reduce the energy bill from Rs 26,500 crore currently to about Rs 16,000 crore,” the official said to ET. The railways will work with several private companies to implement the 100% electrification plan, the official said.
The cost works out to be slightly more than Rs 1 crore per kilometre, over parts of the network yet to be electrified; a senior Railway Board official told ET.
The project will be funded by the ministry’s resources, ET reported. Thus far, nearly half of the railway tracks in the country are electrified.
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To further bring down its energy bill also, railways want to buy electricity from producers instead of distribution companies, helping the national transporter save an additional Rs 2,500 crores a year.
Nearly 5,000 more electric locomotives would be required in the next five years to help for the push to electrify the entire network. It has about 4,400 electronic engines at present and can add only 250 every year.
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