Pedestrians walk along train tracks as trains stand at the Patna Junction railway station (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Cabinet Gives Approval To Electrify Remaining 13,000 Km Of Rail Tracks

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today approved a proposal for electrification of the last leg of more than 13,000 route kilometres of railway tracks, a statement from the ministry said.

The remaining un-electrified broad gauge routes comprising 108 sections, covering 13,675 route kms (16,540 track kms) at a cost of Rs 12,134.5 crore, has been approved, the statement said. The electrification is likely to be completed by 2021-22.

The major trunk routes on the railway network have already been electrified and are operational. “ "Considering the requirement for seamless operation of rail traffic across the network, it is necessary that the bottlenecks created by the need to change traction are done away with,” the statement said. “The proposed electrification, which is mainly for missing links and last mile connectivity, will increase the operational efficiency, enhance line capacity and improve the average speed of trains.”

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

After the planned electrification, there would be an estimated reduction in the consumption of high-speed diesel oil by about 2.83 billion litres per annum and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Due to this advantage, after-electrification, the railways is likely to save Rs 13,510 crore per annum in fuel bill and that’ll will improve finances, the statement said. The approved electrification will generate direct employment of about 20.4 crore man days during the period of construction, the ministry added.

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