In a big boost to the Indian Railways’ ‘Mission 100 per cent electrification’, the Union Cabinet has approved the electrification of the remaining 13,675 kilometres of railway tracks, Financial Express has reported.
It is expected that this initiative would lead to the creation of the world’s largest electrified rail network and help the national transporter become environment friendly.
It has been the contention of Indian Railways that a 100 per cent electrification would lead to significant benefits such as a reduced dependency on imported diesel, enhanced line and haulage capacity, increased speed of trains and also importantly creation of 20.4 crore man days of employment for construction.
Another highly attractive feature of ensuring 100 per cent electrification lies in the fact that there would be a reduction in environmental cost per tonne kilometre and a 24 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2027-28 which would be a big shot in the arm for India’s efforts at combating climate change.
It should be noted that even prior to the recent cabinet decision to have a fully electrified rail network, the electrification efforts of the national transporter had seen a record 4,087 kilometres electrified over the past year, the highest in a single year.
Government data in fact reveals that 8,400 kilometres of railway lines were electrified under the Modi government in comparison to a mere 2,600 kilometres under four years of the UPA II regime.