L&T Current Affairs

Indian Railways signs first EPC contract with L&T to speed up electrification

The Indian Railways has signed its first EPC (engineering, procurement, construction) contract with Larsen and Toubro (L&T) for electrification of railway lines.

The contract valuing Rs 1,050 crore was awarded by Central Organisation for Railway Electrification (CORE) and Konkan Railways for electrification of 781 route kilometres (RKM). It will cover Delhi Sarai Rohilla – Rewari and Alwr – Bandikui – Jaipur – Phulera – Ajmer (353 rkm) section and Roha – Verna (428 rkm) of Konkan Railway.

Besides, eight such agreements were also exchanged between Zonal Railways and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) for 1,735 rkm of electrification projects valuing Rs 1,746 crore. 

Background

The EPC contracts were awarded as part of a strategy to speed up the electrification of railway lines under ‘Mission Electrification’ plan unveiled November 2016. So far only 42% of the lines are currently electrified. The Rail ministry is planning to increase its electrified network to 52,400 rkm by 2021. The Indian Railways is expecting to cut its fuel bill by Rs. 3,300 crore annually by 2020-21, by electrifying 90% of all broad gauge tracks under ‘Mission Electrification’ plan. In 2017-18 Budget, it was announced the Railways would tap the EPC route for expediting electrification projects.

Comment

Indian Railways consumes 2% of the country’s total power generation. The power could be effectively utilized in other sectors. The Mission Electrification plan will help in reducing the energy bill of railways considerably. It would also make the travel through Railways faster.

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DRDO transfers Technology to L&T to develop Lakshya

Indian Multinational conglomerate Larsen and Toubro (L&T) to be the first to receive license for technology of full-scale system to make Lakshya from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Lakshya is a pilotless target aircraft developed by DRDO and L&T will get the technology for its digital version that to be sold to the armed forces.

Digital version of Lakshya is advanced version of Lakshya-1 whose flight path can be pre-programmed and has advanced digitally controlled engine.

This is the first such technology transfer done by DRDO to the private firm.

The company will be the primary supplier of the upgraded digital version to the armed forces and can also export it to friendly countries with prior government approval.

Currently Lakshya is manufactured by the public sector Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd who had supplied around 30 units to the armed forces.

About Lakshya:

It is remotely piloted high speed target drone system developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment, a Bengaluru unit of DRDO in 1985. It has two variant commissioned in the armed forces Lakshya 1 & 2.

Specification:

  • It can be launches from ground or ship and requires zero length launcher.
  • Recovered by two stages – parachute and sea.
  • Its flight path can be pre-programmed based upon the type of mission.
  • It is seven feet long flies with the maximum speed of Mach 0.7.
  • Has ability to fly at low level and is equipped with cruise missile also.

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