File photo of Piyush Goyal. Photograph:( ANI )
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Wednesday approved the proposal for electrification of balance unelectrified broad gauge of the Indian Railways comprising of 108 sections covering 13,675 route kilometres (16,540 track kilometres) at a cost of Rs.12,134.50 crore.
This electrification is likely to be completed by 2021-22.
The proposed electrification, which is mainly for missing links and last-mile connectivity, will increase the operational efficiency, enhance the line capacity and improve the average speed of trains.
The approved electrification will also reduce the use of imported fossil fuels, and thereby improve energy security to the nation.
After the planned electrification, there would be a reduction in the consumption of high-speed diesel oil by about 2.83 billion litres per annum and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
This will also reduce the environmental impact of Railways.
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 per cent of the total energy expenses of Indian Railways.
Due to this advantage, post electrification, the Indian Railways is likely to save Rs 13,510 crore per annum in fuel bill and the same will improve its finances.
The approved electrification will also generate direct employment of about 20.4 crore man-days during the period of construction.