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Solar power for routes in Marwar


Times of India, New Delhi, 13 April, 2015

 Vimal Bhatia


JAISALMER: Indian Railways is exploring solar and windmill power generation through public-private partnership (PPP) for the proposed electrification of routes in Marwar region.


"Railways has developed an action plan for power supply in next five years with private partnership for setting up 1,000 Mw solar power project and 25 Mw windmill plant," said Railway board member, Naveen Tandon, while talking to the TOI here on Wednesday. Tandon is in Jaisalmer on a personal visit. Railways has sanctioned electrification of routes in Jaisalmer, Lalgarh, Phalodi and Bhildi.


Tandon said railway's associate company RITES has formed a new company Railway Energy Management Company (REMC). This new company will invite tenders from private people and industrialists for setting up solar plant, which will sell power to railways on cheaper rates. An MoU will be signed to buy power continuously for 25 years. The railways has started working on an action plan to set up 25Mw windmill power project between Jaisalmer and Jodhpur," he added.


Tandon said govt's priority is to cut down the fuel expenses. At present Rs 20,000 crore is spent by railways on diesel and Rs 10,000 crore on electricity. Electrification of maximum tracks will be started. Last year, rail department had saved Rs 300 crore with electrification works, he said.


Tondon said the electrification of rail lines has started with the help of advanced techniques. Work has been started to build 200 new rail engines of 9,000 horsepower each with assistance from Japanese firm Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Thirty engines will be imported from Japan, whereas all parts of 70 engines will be imported from Japan.