Indian Railways aims for 100% electrification by December 2023

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the indian railways (IR) has set a goal of 100% electrification of its network by December 2023, said economic survey 2021-22.

To achieve this objective along with the creation of other infrastructure in the sector, the government has quintupled the CAPEX (investment expenditure) over the last seven years.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman filed the 2021-22 economic study with the Lok Sabha on Monday. The survey claims that IR is aiming for 100% electrification of its network by December 2023, upgrading the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Kolkata corridors to 160 km/h and also eliminating level crossings on the Golden Quadrilateral and Golden Diagonal roads.

CAPEX has been significantly increased for IR from an annual average of Rs 45,980 crore in 2009-14 to Rs 2.15,058 crore in 2021-22.

“An average of 1,835 km of track per year of new track length was added through new line and multi-track projects during the period 2014-2021, compared to an average of 720 km of track during the period 2009-14,” the survey said.

He mentioned that passenger safety and safe maintenance of rail assets are IR’s top priority. “With a focus on passenger safety, the number of consecutive rail accidents fell from 59 in 2018-19 to 55 in 2019-20 (pre-Covid) and 22 in 2020-21,” he said. he declares.

In order to strengthen the agricultural sector, as of December 31, 2021, the railways operated 1,841 Kisan Rail services, carrying about six lakh tons of perishable goods including fruits and vegetables. In FY21, IR carried 1.23 billion tons of cargo and 1.25 billion passengers.

“Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, revenue generated from freight loading (excluding loading by Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd. (KRCL) was 1,230.9 million tonnes in 2020-21, compared to 1,208.4 million tonnes in 2019-20 Inbound passengers were 1,250 million in 2020-21 compared to 8,086 million in 2019-20,” he said.

In order to provide better facilities, the IR has committed to providing Wi-Fi internet services at all stations (except stop stations) and as of December 5, 2021, a total of 6,087 stations have been fitted with this facility. In addition, projects linking difficult terrains such as the Rishikesh-Karnaprayag line as well as the railway network to connect all the capitals of the northeastern states are underway. In addition, a number of infrastructure development initiatives are contemplated in the National Railway Plan (NRP) being developed by Indian Railways.

The plan envisions the creation of a ready-to-use future railway system, capable not only of meeting passenger demand, but also of increasing the railways’ modal share in freight to 40-45% compared to at the current level of 26-27%. According to the National Railway Plan, the freight ecosystem is expected to grow from the current level of 4,700 MT to 8,200 by 2030.

“Currently, rail capacity is barely capable of carrying 1,220 MT, which represents about 26-27% of the modal share. The plan foresees a pipeline of projects that, when completed, will increase rail capacity. to capture 45% of freight traffic,” the plan said.

In order to prevent the modal share from shrinking further, rail capacity improvement projects have been classified as “super critical” and “critical”. A total of 58 projects have been identified as “super critical” and are expected to be completed by December 2022. Approximately 68 projects have been identified as “critical” and are expected to be completed by March 2024.

“These projects aim to increase capacity on routes that serve major mining and industrial centers as well as ports and major consumer centers,” he said.

“The next 10 years will see a very high level of CAPEX in the rail sector, as capacity growth needs to be accelerated so that by 2030 it will exceed demand. As more and more as more projects are implemented and multiple sources of capital financing are developed, CAPEX will further increase in the coming years and the railway system will indeed emerge as an engine of national growth,” he added.

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