Railways To Go "100 Per Cent Electric" By 2024: Minister Piyush Goyal
India has the fourth largest network in the world after US, Russia and China. (Representational)
India has set 2024 as the target for 100 per cent electrification of railways, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said today, adding that "we are very very conscious of our responsibility to the environment". By 2030, India plans to make the entire railway network a "net-zero emission network", he further said.
"We are embarking on rapid electrification of the rail network by 2024. We expect the entire network to be electrified by then," Mr Goyal told reporters at the India-Brazil Business Forum.
"By 2030, we plan to make the entire railway network a net-zero emission network. We will have no emission from the railways.... it will run on clean energy and clean power," he said.
India would be the first country in the world to run a railway network "of this scale and size" on electricity, he further said. The central minister also spoke of scope of partnership with Brazil for developing rail infrastructure.
Indian Railways has been working to reduce the carbon emission amid global concern over climate change. As per the NITI Aayog data, carbon dioxide emission from the Indian Railways was around 6.84 million tons in 2014.
Last year, Mr Goyal, while announcing the electrification goal, had said that that the centre is phasing out the old coal plants, which is going to help reduce environmental pollution. "It will also create the demand for new plants and spur the investment cycle," he had said.
India has the fourth largest network in the world after US, Russia and China. Spread across 67,368 km with about 7,300 stations, the rail network runs close to 13,000 passenger trains that carry over 23 million passengers daily, according to government data.