With the aim of boosting its ‘Mission Electrification’ plan, Indian Railways signed its first Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract with L&T for large electrification projects on Friday. The contract valuing Rs 1,050 crore for electrification of 781 route kilometres (RKM) was awarded by Central Organisation for Railway Electrification (CORE) and Konkan Railways.
“For faster execution of Railway Electrification projects, Indian Railways has changed from Business as usual (BAU) approach and entrusted new electrification works not only to Railway PSUs like Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL), Indian Railway Construction Company (IRCON) and Rail India Techno Economic Service (RITES) but also to Power Grid Corporation India Limited (PGCIL),” the ministry of railways said in a statement.
The contract was awarded for electrification of Delhi Sarai Rohilla – Rewari and Alwr – Bandikui – Jaipur – Phulera – Ajmer (353 rkm) section at a cost of Rs 594 crore and Roha – Verna (428 rkm) of Konkan Railway at a cost of Rs. 456 crore. Also, eight agreements were also exchanged between Zonal Railways and Public Sector Undertakings for 1,735 rkm of electrification projects valuing Rs 1,746 crore.
This comes on the heels of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) stating in its audit report on ‘Electrification Projects in Indian Railways’ that the Indian Railways lost savings to the tune of Rs 3,006 crore on account of delays in execution 21 railways electrification projects out of 29 projects which were examined.
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Under ‘Mission Electrification’, ten different electrification projects covering 2,516 rkm at a cost of about Rs. 2,797 crore have been finalized in a short duration, the statement added. “It is a very important milestone for us. We had also announced in the rail budget that we will increase the pace of electrification. Around 42 per cent of electrification will be doubled in the next 5 years. Rs 16,500 crore of track doubling has also been sanctioned which will be electrified after getting commissioned,” rail minister Suresh Prabhu said at the signing.
Prabhu also said the national carrier is also in the process of procuring electric locomotives from GE and Alstom, adding that the manufacturing of the locomotives will begin within a few months. He also stated that electrification has been given a higher thrust during the last four years as a total of 103 electrification projects were sanctioned.
“We are also introducing 40,000 retrofitted and modernised coaches. Railways is constantly reforming itself by taking various initiatives in energy sector. With rolling stock getting modernised, lines getting electrified and guage conversion you can imagine the huge impact it will have on the whole Indian Railways network,” he added.
The national carrier aims to reduce its total energy bill by over Rs 4,000 crore per annum through rapid electrification. At present, only 42 percent of the total Indian Railways network is electrified. The rail ministry plans to increase its electrified network to 52,400 rkm by 2021. On completion of 90 percent of railway electrification, the national carrier expects its total energy bill to come down to Rs 16,000 crore as against Rs 26,500 crore at present. Read more