The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, headed by PM Narendra Modi has permitted to electrify the last leg of over 13,000 route kilometres railway tracks on Wednesday, revealed a statement from the ministry.
The statement said, “The remaining un-electrified broad gauge routes comprising 108 sections, covering 13,675 route kilometres (16,540 track kilometres) at a cost of Rs 12,134.5 crore, has been approved.”
As per the government’s estimation, the project is likely to be finished by 2021-2022 making India the second country with most electrified railway networks after China. All the major trunk routes on the railway are already electrified.
The cabinet has been considering the requirement for hassle-free railway network which is not bothered by bottlenecks. The project focuses on missing links and last mile connectivity which will, in turn, boost the line capacity leading to a faster train network.
The minutes of PM’s review meet stated: “100 per cent electrification target should be examined with reference to global practice where a mix of diesel and electric traction is the preferred norm.”
The electrification will reduce consumption of oil and diesel by 2.83 billion litres per annum. Presently, over 50% of the passenger trains in Indian Railways are electrified. The proposed project is going to create direct employment opportunity of around 20.4 crore man days.