Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu unveiled 'Mission 41K' to save Rs. 41,000 crore on the Indian Railways' expenditure on energy consumption over the next 10 years.
This target will be achieved by taking a slew of measures which include moving 90 per cent of traffic to electric traction over diesel. Presently, this is at 50 per cent of the total rail traffic.
The ministry plans to achieve this target by doubling the current pace of electrification, Railway Board Chairman A K Mittal said in an official statement.
The railways also aim to procure more and more electricity at cheaper rates through open market instead of sourcing it through DISCOMs and thereby hopes to save as much as 25 per cent on its energy expenses.
New technologies are also being explored to bring down electric consumption.
In the last Budget the railways have already set a target of generating 1000 MW of solar power and 200 MW of wind energy.
Indian Railways consumed over 18.25 billion units of electrical energy for its traction and non-traction application during 2014-2015 for which it paid a total of Rs. 12,635 crore. For diesel traction it spent Rs. 18,586 crore in the same period.
The launch of this programme was undertaken at a Roundtable Discussion on Energy Initiatives of Indian Railways with external stakeholders.
Among those who were present were Indian Oil Corporation, Adani Power, Reliance Power, Suzlon Energy Ltd, TERI, and CII.
Source- The Hindu