The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on September 12, 2018 approved the proposal for electrification of balance un-electrified Broad Gauge Routes of Indian Railways.
The Broad Gauge Routes comprise 108 sections covering 13675 route kilometers (16540 track kilometers) that will be electrified at a cost of Rs 12134.50 crore by 2021-22.
The major trunk routes on IR network have already been electrified and are operational.
Save fuel bill
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 percent of the total energy expenses of Indian Railways. Hence, post electrification, Indian Railways will likely save Rs 13510 crore per annum in fuel bill.
Generate direct employment
The electrification will generate direct employment of about 20.4 crore man days during the period of construction.
Boost capacity and speed
The electrification will provide seamless train operation by eliminating detention of trains due to 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
The electrification will enhance safety in train operations through improved signalling system.
Reduce fossil fuel consumption
The total shift to electric traction will reduce fossil fuel consumption of about 2.83 billion liters per annum. It will also lead to reduced dependence on imported petroleum based fuels, thus, ensuring energy security to the nation.
Reduce expenditure on maintenance of locomotive
The electrification of Railway gauge will reduce 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. The regeneration facility of electric locomotives will save 15-20 percent energy.
It will reduce 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 commitment made by India in COP21, total shift to electric traction will reduce CO2 emission of Railways by 24 percent till 2027-28.
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