Indian Railways, country’s national carrier, is taking steps to minimise carbon footprint by reducing the number of trains running on diesel and to fully bring the network to run with electric locomotives.
As on 01 November 2019, 37,237 route kilometers of rail lines have been commissioned on electric traction, which is 57.91% of total Indian Railways’ broad gauge network. Indian railways has also prepared an action plan to electrify the remaining broad gauge (BG) routes.
Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Piyush Goyal on Sunday said that the target has been set for full electrification of Indian railways within the next four years.
"Railways is continuously increasing electrification for a better, pollution-free future. The target of electrification of the entire railway in the next 3-4 years has been set, making it the world's first carbon emission-free railway, along with that the railways is producing solar energy for their power needs," he tweeted.
Earlier, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had said that Indian Railways will become the world first "net-zero" carbon emitter by 2030.
As per the NITI Aayog data, carbon dioxide emission from the Indian Railways was around 6.84 million tons in 2014. Amid global concerns over climate change, Indian Railways is also working to reduce the carbon emission.
Piyush Goyal also said that the Indian Railways will be 100% electrically run by 2023.
From 2009-2014 a total of 3,038 kilometers of railway tracks were electrified and from 2014-2019 the process of electrification gained further momentum when a total of 13, 687 kilometers were electrified.
Several steps have been taken to expedite electrification of railway lines in the country and they include, award of Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contracts, better project monitoring mechanism, delegating more power to field units for the award of contracts/sanction of estimates and close monitoring at the highest level.
This information was given by the Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Piyush Goyal in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.
*With agency inputs