Cabinet approves electrification of remaining broad gauge routes
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Cabinet approves electrification of remaining broad gauge routes

New Delhi, Sep 12: The balance un-electrified broad gauge routes of 108 Railways sections covering 13,675 route kilometers would be electrified at a cost of Rs 12,134.50 crore by 2021-22, the Union Cabinet approved on Wednesday.

Briefing reporters after the Cabinet meeting, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said the major trunk routes on Railways 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.

He said the approved electrification will reduce the use of imported fossil fuels thereby improve energy security to the nation. “After the planned electrification, consumption of high speed diesel oil will reduce by about 2.83 billion litres per annum with a reduction in GHG emissions. This will also reduce environmental impact of Railways.”

The Minister added that 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 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, he added.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi here. (UNI)