100% Electrification of Railways Current Affairs - 2020

Indian Railways: North East State capitals linking, Act East policy and Electrification

Government of India has planned to link the capitals of North Eastern States with rail connectivity. This plan, however, does not include Sikkim. The capitals of Assam, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh are already connected through Broad Gauge rail network.

Along with this several other initiatives are being upgraded by the Indian Railways

Action Plan to Electrifying Broad Gauges

The Ministry of Railways has created a new action plan to electrify 37,237 km of broad-gauge routes. This is 57.91% of total railway network in India. The commissioning of the rail lines has been completed and the works are to begin shortly. The details were given by Minister of Railways in his written reply to Lok Sabha.

The Government of India has set target of 100% electrification of the railways in 10 years. It was announced in August 2019.

Act East Policy and Railways

To boost trade and investment with South East Asia through North Eastern region, India has taken up railway projects with Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal. Currently, there are two rail connectivity projects connecting Indian cities Jogbani and Jayanagar with Nepal cities Biratnagar and Bardibas respectively. In Bangladesh there are two ongoing projects that connects Agartala with Akhuara and Hadibari with Chilhati.

There are no ongoing railway projects with Myanmar and Bhutan.

Adarsh Railway Station

The Adarsh Railway Station scheme was started in 2009-10 to modernize railway stations. So far, 1253 stations have been developed under the scheme. The scheme intends to provide developmental activities that include retiring room, station building, waiting room for ladies, toilets, parking areas, foot over bridges, etc.

There are no separate funds allocated to the scheme. The works are carried out under Passenger Amenities plans.

Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal awarded Carnot Prize

The Union Minister of Railways and Coal, Piyush Goyal has been awarded the Carnot Prize 2018 for the transformational changes brought by him during his tenure as Union Minister of Power.

Piyush Goyal during his tenure as Union Minister of Power, coal, new and renewable energy, and mines brought in transformational changes in the Power Sector which includes fast-track electrification of nearly 18,000 villages in some of the most remote and inaccessible parts of the country, rolling out a comprehensive power sector reform plan UDAY, the world’s largest LED bulb distribution program, and the world’s largest renewable energy expansion program. The award honours his exceptional service towards reforming the power sector in the country.

Accepting the award Piyush Goyal announced that government has embarked on an ambitious programme to ensure 100 per cent electrification of Railway’s grid in the next five years.

About Carnot Prize

The Carnot Prize is the annual recognition by the US-based Kleinman Center for Energy Policy for distinguished contributions to energy policy through scholarship or practice.

The prize has been named after French scientist Sadi Carnot, who in 1824 published Reflections on the Motive Power of Firewhich became the basis for the second law of thermodynamics. Carnot recognized that the power of the steam engine would “produce a great revolution” in human development.

The Carnot Prize is awarded to honour those who have revolutionized our understanding of energy policy.