Indian Railways to be ‘Net-Zero’ railway network! Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways aims to become the first-of-its-kind big rail network in the world to be fully electrified and the first-ever ‘Net-Zero’ railway. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal recently said that Indian Railways is implementing electrification at a very fast pace. Before Modi government came into power, the financial year 2013-14 saw rail electrification of 680 km. In a massive improvement, the Modi government electrified 5,200 km of rail lines last year, Goyal said. The minister further claimed that by the year 2023, Indian Railways will be the world’s first railway of this size to be 100 per cent electrified and by the year 2030, it will be the world’s first ‘Net-Zero’ railway.
In the month of July, the Railway Minister had stated that all broad gauge routes across Indian Railways’ network will be electrified in mission mode. Goyal had said that around 1.27 per cent of the total electricity consumption of the country is consumed by Indian Railways and also revealed that the national transporter requires 3 per cent of High-Speed Diesel (HSD) oil for its energy requirements.
While speaking during Question Hour, Goyal informed Lok Sabha that the Railway Ministry is taking various energy-efficient measures to curb the carbon footprint in a bid to protect the environment. The measures are being implemented by Indian Railways as part of its aim to be an eco-friendly mode of transport. Indian Railways plans to electrify 100 per cent of its broad gauge routes in mission mode, as a green mode of transport, the minister stated. In the financial year 2018-19, the national transporter had consumed nearly 20.44 billion units of electricity as well as 3.1 billion litres of HSD oil for its energy requirement, Goyal informed.
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Also, last year, the national transporter had commissioned the state-of-the-art 12,000 HP electric locomotive in an attempt to help power green and clean railways. Interestingly, this was the world’s first-ever conversion of a diesel locomotive into an electric locomotive.