In 4-5 yrs, Railways will be 100 pc electricity-driven network: Goyal

The Indian Railways will be a 100 percent electricity-driven rail network in the next four to five years, making it the largest such network in the world, Union minister Piyush Goyal said on Thursday. Speaking at the 8th World Energy Policy Summit here, Goyal said Railways was rapidly moving towards electrification of its entire network.

“We are already about 55 percent run by electric traction. In the next 4-5 years, we expect to be a 100 per cent electric-driven rail network, the largest such network in the world,” the Railway minister said. Goyal added that the government has tried to bring several initiatives to promote investments in the energy sector.

“All the power generating companies will also now be eligible for the lower 15% income tax rate for all the new investments that come in the sector,” he said. By 2030, Railways will invest in 20 GW solar power generation, which will effectively make it a “net-zero railway”, Goyal said.

“This will give a message to other countries to also consider how they can go for electrification,” he added. Stating that India was committed to energy transition, Goyal said this was monitored at the highest level to ensure that the country was a part of the global effort to make the world a better place to live in.

“In terms of coal, we are very conscious of our obligations to reduce world energy emission levels. No new plant has been approved in the last six years,” he said. Goyal also said that the transition from the incandescent bulbs to LED bulbs has helped reduce over eight crore tons of carbon dioxide every year.

“Getting out of the traditional cooking methods which included firewood and coal, and moving to the gas economy has been a very ambitious and successful programme of the government which has significantly contributed to reducing the pollution levels,” he said. Goyal also hailed the Swachh Bharat programme and said that it had an impact on the levels of emissions and the level of environmental degradation.

“It is the dream of the PM that every new car being manufactured in India is an electric vehicle,” he said.