21 oct :The Minister of Railways Shri Lalu Prasad said that Indian Railways is the lifeline of the nation and pointed out that it is, therefore, necessary to run fast moving trains in view of ever increasing passenger and freight traffic.
There is, therefore, need to increase the pace of electrification to meet the increase demand. The Minister said that in view of the hike in oil prices, it is a challenge to contain cost and make judicious use of energy in hauling trains. The Minister hoped that the Navinagar Rail Electrical Company with the cooperation of NTPC will ensure adequate electricity supply to Railways at a low cost.
Addressing a gathering at the inauguration of an International Seminar on “Emerging Technologies & Strategies for Energy Management in Railways’ here today, Shri Lalu Prasad said that energy accounts for 25 per cent of working expenses on the Indian Railways out of which 15 per cent is spent on diesel and 10 per cent on electricity. At present 28 per cent of route on Indian Railways is electrified which further needs to be expanded. He congratulated all electrical engineers for their contribution in containing prices of electricity for the last five years and improving bottom line of Railways to the extent of about Rs. 4000 crore per annum in gross profits of Railways. He said that EMUs and MEMUs which runs on electricity are becoming more and more popular among the people of both urban and non-urban and there is a need to run these trains on more routes.
The Minister of State for Railways, Shri Naran J. Bhai Rathwa said that in each town the railway station should ideally be a place having modern and energy efficient equipments and concepts which will project the Railways as a leader and example to be followed by others in energy conservation.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister of State for Railways, Shri R. Velu said that Railways should have a cautious approach in harnessing alternate & renewable energy sources by ensuring faster and cost effective techniques for commercial exploitation of these resources and evolve methods by which these technologies can be inducted quickly and on wider scale so that the benefits reach the common people quickly.
In his key note address, Chairman, Railway Board Shri K.C.Jena said that the total electricity drawn by the Indian Railways is a very small fraction, about 2.5 per cent of the total energy generated in the country. He said that of the ordinary working expenses in a year, about 25 per cent is accounted for by fuel cost. At today’s prices about Rs.8,000 crore are spent on diesel oil and Rs.5,000 crore on electricity for traction. However, it is the energy consumption on the non-traction sector, at about 1,000 crores of rupees per year today, which is to increase as we take up more and more amenities and facilities in our journey to become a world class railway and improve facilities and amenities for our users. He said,
In his welcome address, Shri Sukhbir Singh, Member Electrical, Railway Board said that it is the corporate responsibility of Indian Railways to usher in technologies to reduce carbon-footprint of each and every activity, without compromising upon growth. Indian Railways have taken some landmark decisions which will increase our traction energy utilization between 10 to 30 per cent. He said that this seminar will also help in framing strategies for acquisition of new clean technology, so that Indian Railways can meet the aspirations of its customers and become a World Class Railway.
The seminar is spread over seven sessions and will cover different aspects including energy challenges, concepts, products and technologies on board trains and at stations, energy conservation audits and addressing issues of climate change. Through dissemination of knowledge and discussions, the forum aims to forge recommendations for evolving strategies to hasten implementation of energy efficient technologies. About 500 delegates are participating in the two-day seminar, organized by Institution of Railway Electrical Engineers (IREE). Shri Lalu Prasad also inaugurated an exhibition on “Conservation of Energy in Train Operation” on the occasion.