Mr Velu also urged states having surplus power, to offer electricity at cheaper rates to the Railways, while urging it to plan projects taking into account resources available in different regions.
He said electric engines played an important role in operation of Indian Railways, as over 65% of freight traffic and 50% of passenger traffic is carried on electric traction.
He said the railway ministry was looking at improving availability of electric locomotives by an additional 10% over the target in 2005-06. This move would lead to hauling of more goods traffic and help achieve the Mission 700 MT freight loading during the current fiscal. In fact the minister applauded the chief electrical engineers in making the freight loading target of 600 mt possible in 2004-05.
Mr Velu said the ministry had taken up electrification of the entire rail network as part of strengthening the golden quadrilateral.