New Delhi: The Union Railway Minister Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu has announced that Railways proposes to procure power through the bidding process at economical tariff from generating companies, power exchanges, and bilateral arrangements. This initiative is likely to result in substantial savings of at least Rs. 3,000 crore in next few years. Presenting the Railway Budget for 2015-16 in Parliament today he informed the members that although a bulk consumer, Railways pays extremely high charges for traction power.
The Railway Minister informed the members that to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, Railways is intended to expand sourcing of Solar Power as part of the Solar Mission of Railways. Work is in full swing at the solar power plant at Katra station and is slated for completion in March 2015. Further, 1000 MW solar plants will be set up by the developers on Railway/private land and on rooftop of Railway buildings at their own cost with subsidy/viability gap funding support of Ministry of Non- Renewable Energy in next five years.
He emphasized that investment is needed in Indian Railways also because it is necessary for its ecological sustenance. The annual consumption of fuel by the Railways is just about 7% of the annual fuel consumption by the road sector. The energy consumption is about 75%- 90% less for freight traffic when compared to road. The carbon dioxide emission is about 80% less than road. Investment in Indian Railways is an investment in our future. It is an investment in our sustainability. It is an investment for posterity, the Minister said.