Plans afoot to electrify over 6,000 km of rail network in fiscal 2019: Piyush Goyal

New Delhi | The Railways plans to electrify over 6,000 km of its network in the coming financial year, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said on Wednesday.

Speaking at the launch of the International Energy Agency report ‘The future of Rail’, the minister said huge investment in railways over the past five years had helped improve safety and complete long-delayed projects.

“Five years ago, the Railways had electrified about 600 km of tracks across the country. Last year alone, we electrified over 4,000 km, and in the coming year we aim to electrify over 6,000 km. With new technology and innovations, the Railways is going to play a central role as we strive to make India an international manufacturing hub,” he said.

Highlighting the efforts of the government towards energy efficiency, Goyal said an investment of only USD 2 billion on LED bulbs had resulted in India saving almost USD 7 billion per year on electricity.

“Subsidies on LED bulbs were becoming a constraint on their roll out. We decided to bring down the cost of LED bulbs to double-digit prices, and remove subsidies, which has today resulted in the sale of at least 1 million bulbs per year,” he said, adding that his government was committed to combatting climate change and bringing down emission levels.

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