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India to Electrify Railway Board Gauge Routes at £1.29 Billion


Indian government has decided to electrify un-electrified board gauge routes of Indian Railways at a cost of £1.29 billion (Photo Credit: NOAH SEELAM/AFP/Getty Images).
Indian government has decided to electrify un-electrified board gauge routes of Indian Railways at a cost of £1.29 billion (Photo Credit: NOAH SEELAM/AFP/Getty Images).

Indian government has decided to electrify un-electrified board gauge routes of Indian Railways comprising of 108 sections covering 13,675 kilometers (16,540 track kilometers) at a cost of £1.29 billion.

This electrification process is likely to be completed by 2021-22, said India’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday (12) in a statement.

The approved electrification will reduce the use of imported fossil fuels thereby improve energy security to the nation. After the planned electrification, there would be a reduction in the consumption of high-speed diesel oil by about 2.83 billion litres per year and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. This will also reduce environmental impact of Indian Railways.

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

Due to this advantage, in the post-electrification period, Indian Railways is likely to save £1.44 billion per annum in fuel bill and the same will improve its finances.

The approved electrification will generate direct employment of about 204 million man-days during the period of construction. A 100 per cent electrification will provide seamless train operation by eliminating detention of trains due to change in traction from diesel to electric and vice versa.

In line with the new Auto Fuel Policy of the Government, total shift to electric traction will reduce fossil fuel consumption of about 2.83 billion litres per annum.

Overall savings in fuel bill is to the extent of £1.44 billion per annum. Electrification of sections covered under this decision will result in net savings of £ 404.35 million per annum. Reduced expenditure on maintenance of locomotive as electric locomotive maintenance cost is Rs. 16.45 per thousand Gross Tonne Kilometers (GTKM) compared to diesel locomotive maintenance cost which is Rs. 32.84 per thousand GTKM.