New Delhi: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the proposal for electrification of balance un-electrified BG routes of Indian Railways (IR) comprising of 108 sections covering 13,675 route kilometres (16,540 track kilometres) at a cost of Rs.12,134.50 crore. This electrification is likely to be completed by 2021-22.
The major trunk routes on IR 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 proposed electrification, which is mainly for missing links and last mile connectivity will increase the operational efficiency, enhance the line capacity and improve the average speed of trains.
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 annum and a reduction in GHG emissions. This will also reduce the environmental impact of 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% of the total energy expenses of Indian Railways. Due to this advantage, post electrification, Indian Railways is likely to save Rs 13,510 crore per annum in fuel bill and the same will improve its finances.
The approved electrification will generate direct employment of about 20.4 crore man-days during the period of construction.
The benefits from this decision are listed below:
Capacity & Speed
- 100% electrification will provide seamless train operation by eliminating detention of trains due to a change in traction from diesel to electric and vice versa.
- It will help Railways in enhancing line capacity due to higher speed & higher haulage capacity of electric locomotives
- Improved signalling system will lead to enhanced safety in train operation
- 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
- Reduced dependence on imported petroleum-based fuels will ensure energy security to the nation
Energy bill savings
- Overall savings in fuel bill to the extent of Rs. 13,510 cr per annum. Electrification of sections covered under this decision will result in net savings of Rs. 3,793 cr per annum
- Reduced expenditure on maintenance of locomotive as electric locomotive maintenance cost is Rs. 16.45 per thousand GTKM compared to diesel locomotive maintenance cost which is Rs. 32.84 per thousand GTKM
- Regeneration facility of electric locomotives will save 15-20% energy
- The reduced overall requirement of electric loco due to higher horsepower
- Reduced carbon footprint as environmental cost per Tonne Km for Electric Traction is 1.5 Paisa and for Diesel Traction 5.1 paisa
- In line with the commitment made by India in COP21, total shift to electric traction will reduce the CO2 emission of Railways by 24% till 2027-28
- Greenhouse gas emission for electric traction will fall below diesel traction by 2019-20 making it an environmentally friendly option.
- Direct employment during the construction phase for about 20.4 crore Man days.
The complete electrification of the railway is poised to continue the growth story of Indian Railways. Through the aforementioned benefits, complete electrification will act as a catalyst for the modernisation process and deliver greater economic benefits. It will help Indian Railways become the growth engine of India as envisaged by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.