‘Several steps have been taken to expedite electrification of rail lines in the country’.
NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Railways has electrified more than 13,000 km of railway tracks in the last five years on the broad gauge, but about 42% of the railway network is still unelectrified. The government plans to fully electrify the tracks by 2023.
According to information provided by the Ministry, over 37,000 km of railway tracks have been electrified, which is about 58% of the total Indian Railways’ broad gauge network.
Ministry officials said the target has been set for full electrification of the Indian Railways in the next four years.
Interestingly, while only 3,038 km tracks were electrified during 2009-14, this figure was 13,687 km during the period 2014-19, thereby registering an increase of 351% compared to the UPA II regime. In 2018-19, a record 5,276 km of railway tracks were electrified in one year.
“Railways is continuously working to increase electrification for a better, pollution-free future. After full electrification, it will become the world’s first carbon-emission-free railway,” said an official, adding: “there are also efforts to produce solar energy for our power needs”.
He further said: “We have taken several measures to expedite electrification of railway lines in the country, including awarding of Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contracts, better project monitoring mechanism and delegating more power to the field units for the award of contracts / sanction of estimates.”
Apart from electrification, the Indian Railways is also taking other eco-friendly measures. It is setting up solar panels over rooftops at stations and railways buildings. It has planned to installed 1,000 MW solar power by 2020-21. The move, officials believe, would help the transporter source about 10% of electrical energy from renewable sources.
A majority of railway stations have already started making use of solar energy, including Anand Vihar Terminal, Hazrat Nizamuddin and New Delhi railway stations. Besides, all the railways stations have been provided LED bulbs to reduce consumption of energy.