As a major positive move towards collaborative governance approach towards electrification of 35,000 km of railway tracks, Power Minister Piyush Goyal discussed the issues involved in such massive electrification project with Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and agreed to start the project at the earliest.
“Met @Sureshpprabhu ji to discuss how our ministries can co-operate on electrifying 35,000 RTKM of railway tracks,” Goyal said in a tweet. The government is mulling electrification of 35,000 km of rail line in the next three years to save around Rs 16,000 crore forex a year on fuel imports. The Herculean task of electrifying remaining 35,000 km of rail track is likely to be done by one of the companies under the Power Ministry, Goyal had earlier said, adding that the project is expected to be launched immediately after the discussions are over on the Railway Budget in Parliament. “We are going to stop production of diesel locomotives that is the decision which Sureshji (Railway Minister) will take quickly. I hope that it (electrification) would be done in next three years. I want to do it in three years,” the Power Minister had said.
He had said that the Railways is consuming diesel worth over Rs 200 crore every year and if it does not use the fuel then there would be saving of Rs 16,000 crore forex. Elaborating further he had said, “Rs 1 crore per kilometre is the current of cost of rail electrification. If we do it in three years, cost will come down to half. But it cannot be less than 30-35 per cent. Power Ministry will spend entire money. One of my companies will spend 100 per cent of money.”
According to the minister, the electrification of entire rail track in the country will lead to power consumption going up by 7 billion units. “We can easily recover the investment in three years. So we (have) done the deal. Under the project 75 per cent of the savings will be paid to Power Ministry’s company for next 10 years and remaining will be enjoyed by Railways,” he had said. “Out of our 75 per cent share of savings, 50 per cent would be used to pay costs and interest and remaining 25 per cent will be our profit.”