NEW DELHI: The Railways’ electrification targets have been progressing slower than expected in the last six months, with work in some zonal railways coming to either nil or minuscule.
Now, the Railway Board has directed zonal railways to expedite work and to send reports on regularly basis. About 38,000 route kilometres of Indian Railways’ Broad Gauge route is non-electrified. The estimated cost of 100 per cent electrification is Rs 32,591 crore.
In September, a review meeting held to assess work progress of last six months found that there was no progress in the Central Railway as against the target of 640 km. Other zonal railways, which also submitted their work progress, were asked to find out ways to meet their target.
“All zonal railways have said they shall be able to commission as per target. Monthly monitoring is already happening,” said a senior railway officer.Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has been emphasizing on electrification of the entire railway network within the next five years. But, Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested the public transporter not to rush into target achievement and rather to focus on annual targets.
“This will lead to an estimated saving of Rs 10,000 crore per annum, help in reducing carbon emissions and promote sustainable development. It will also boost India’s energy security by saving foreign exchange on imported fuel,” Goyal had said after the Railway Budget.