Pace of Railway Electrification, which is environment friendly and reduces pollution, has increased nearly ten times since 2014. With a view to transform Indian Railways into “Green Railways” and to capture the economic benefits of electric traction in an accelerated manner, Railways has planned to electrify balance Broad Gauge (BG) routes by December, 2023 to achieve 100% electrification of BG routes. This will facilitate elimination of diesel traction resulting in significant reduction in its carbon footprint and environmental pollution. The major highlights in this regards are as below:
Total Route Kilometers electrified (RKM)
As on 01 May 2021, 71% of the total Broad Gauge network has been electrified.
Growth of Railway Electrification (RKM)
Southern Railway fast-tracks electrification projects
In the vast expanse of Southern Railway network covering 5080 Route kilometers (RKM), 3529 RKM accounting for about 70% has been electrified till March 2021. As envisaged in National Rail Plan & Vision 2024, Southern Railway targets Electrification of all the Broad Gauge routes in Southern Railway by December 2023.187 Route kilometrage of Electrified lines commissioned in the financial year 2020-21.
673 Route kilometrage is targeted for electrification during 2021-22. The following sections are targeted for completion during the year:
vMadurai-Manamadurai (45 RKM)
vNagapattinam-Velankanni (10 RKM)
vSalem - Talaivasal (73 RKM)
vPollachi – Podanur (38 RKM)
vThalaivasal-Vridhachalam (66 RKM)
vKaraikudi-Manamadurai-Virudunagar (124 RKM)
vManamadurai-Ramanathapuram (62 RKM)
vPalakkad –Pollachi-Palani (121 RKM)
vKollam – Punalur (44 RKM)
Expenditure: Earlier RE projects were used to be financed through budgetary support from the Union Government but being highly remunerative, they are now being financed through Extra Budgetary Resources (Institutional Finance).Further, expenditure of approximate Rs. 21,000 crore is expected to be incurred for completion of the balance electrification.
Expenditure under Plan Head-RE (Rs. Crore)
·At the time of submitting a proposal of 100% electrification to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) during 2018-19, the annual saving in fuel bill was estimated as Rs.13,510crore/year after completion of 100% electrification. However, with the recent increase in diesel prices, the estimated saving currently is Rs. 14,500 crore/year.
·Steps Taken: To complete the projects in time, various other steps have been taken which includes among others, award of large size Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contracts, better project monitoring mechanisms, assured/committed funds through ‘Extra Budgetary Resource (Institutional Finance)
, and decentralization of powers to field units.
·Future Planning: As on 01 May 2021, 18,808 kilometres (incl. KRCL) of BG routes are balanced for electrification. Planning to execute these works is as under:
Electrification offers advantages like:
■Environmental friendly mode of transport
■Reduced dependence on imported diesel fuel, thereby saving precious foreign currency and reduced carbon footprint
■Reduced operating cost
■Haulage of heavier freight trains and longer passenger trains with high haulage capacity of Electric Locomotives leading to increased throughput
■Increased sectional capacity by eliminating detention on account of traction change
■Reduced Operating and maintenance Cost of Electric Loco