Focus: GS III- Infrastructure
Why in news?
- Indian Railways has achieved a significant milestone, by completing 100% electrification of Railway network in Haryana State.
- Benefits: This will create significant saving on account of reduced line haul cost, heavier haulage capacity, increased sectional capacity, reduced operating & maintenance cost of electric loco, energy efficient and eco-friendly mode of transportation with reduced dependence on imported crude oil, saving of foreign exchange.
- Further, new Broad Gauge network shall be sanctioned along with electrification, in sync with Railways’ policy of 100% electrified network.
National Rail Plan (NRP) for India – 2030:
- The Plan is to create a ‘future ready’ Railway system by 2030.
- The NRP is aimed to formulate strategies based on both operational capacities and commercial policy initiatives to increase modal share of the Railways in freight to 45%.
- To create capacity ahead of demand, which in turn would also cater to future growth in demand right up to 2050 and also increase the modal share of Railways to 45% in freight traffic and to continue to sustain it.
- To achieve this objective all possible financial models including Public Private Partnership (PPP) are being considered.
To reform Railways to make it more efficient, greener and modern which will translate into cheaper, safer and assured mode of transport to the common man be it in passenger or freight segment.
Main features of the National Rail Plan have been identified:-
- Formulate strategies based on both operational capacities and commercial policy initiatives to increase modal share of the Railways in freight to 45%.
- Reduce transit time of freight substantially by increasing average speed of freight trains to 50Kmph.
- As part of the National Rail Plan, Vision 2024 has been launched for accelerated implementation of certain critical projects by 2024 such as 100% electrification, multi-tracking of congested routes, upgradation of speed to 160 kmph on Delhi-Howrah and Delhi-Mumbai routes, upgradation of speed to 130kmph on all other Golden Quadrilateral-Golden Diagonal (GQ/GD) routes and elimination of all Level Crossings on all GQ/GD route.
- Identify new Dedicated Freight Corridors.
- Identify new High Speed Rail Corridors.
- Assess rolling stock requirement for passenger traffic as well as wagon requirement for freight.
- Assess Locomotive requirement to meet twin objectives of 100% electrification (Green Energy) and increasing freight modal share.
- Assess the total investment in capital that would be required along with a periodical break up.
- Sustained involvement of the Private Sector in areas like operations and ownership of rolling stock, development of freight and passenger terminals, development/operations of track infrastructure etc.