Union railways minister Piyush Goyal has stated that India will complete its railway electrification in the next four to five years, making it the only such large rail network in the world, reports IANS.
He noted that while 4,000 kilometres of railway tracks were electrified in 2018, the number is expected to increase to 6,000 kms this year. “Till five years ago, we used to be able to electrify only 600 km every year,” he said while addressing the audience at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design.
Though complete railway electrification will cost the government Rs 12,134 crore, it will lead to savings of Rs 13,510 crore per annum in fuel costs. Also, it will reduce the country’s dependence on imported fossil fuel, save foreign exchange and help prevent global warming.
“This will reduce dependence on imported fossil fuel and reduce costs for the Railways. Prime Minister wants to improve efficiency and by saving cost make Indian Railways profitable. This without burdening the passengers," Goyal had earlier stated.
Currently, around two-thirds of freight and more than half of passenger traffic in Indian Railways are transported by electric engines.