Railways to electrify entire network by 2024: Chairman
In a bid to provide more services to the passengers and its emphasis on zero emission, the Indian Railways will complete the work of doubling and tripling of the 17,000 km of tracks and also complete the electrification of its entire network by 2024, an official said on Wednesday.
Railway Board Chairman V.K. Yadav said, "Indian Railways has a network of 64,000 km rail track. Out of which 96 per cent of the traffic is dealt by the 34,000 km rail tracks."
"The 34,000 km track which caters to 96 per cent of the traffic has about 17,000 km of single line. So we are planning to double the rest by 2024," Yadav said.
He said, when the number of the tracks will improve, the punctuality and the services will also improve.
Yadav further said that the national transporter will achieve its target of upgrading the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah tracks for 160 kmph by December 2024.
Emphasizing on infrastructure, the Chairman said, "Currently railways operates over 22,000 trains daily, out of which 9,000 are freight and 13,000 passenger trains. So our focus is also on creating infrastructure and to provide more services to the passengers. Thus by 2024, we will roll out more train services, including providing 150 trains to the private operators."
Stressing on the need of zero emission, the Chairman said that the national transporter will go green by 2024 as its entire network will be electrified.
To a question over the railways agreement with US-based General Electric to produce 1,000 diesel locomotives, Yadav said, "the agreement with GE will go as per the agreement as we will use the diesel locomotives for emergency services."
He also said the railways shelved out over Rs 30,000 crore for fuel expenses, and by going electric, a major chunk of the fuel cost will be saved.
He also said that the railways is planning to tap on solar power and it will be self reliant in solar power by 2030.
Yadav said the railways has identified its land pool, which can be used for solar power generation.
He said about 50,000 hectare of land is available with railways which is fit for the solar power generation and railways requires about 5 Giga Watt of power for its usage.
"So by 2030, we will generate 5 GW of solar power and in next financial year we will be able to achieve 1,000 MW of solar power target," he said.
The railways will adopt the solar power generation in a phased manner as the 50,000 hectare land pool is able to generate 20 GW of power.
He also said that as there are limitations with solar power, where the power is generated only during day.
"We are in talks with states for power banking engagement, where the surplus power will be shared with the states during the day and in night it can use their power," Yadav said.IANS