Rly to rope in pvt players for electrification

With spiralling energy costs turning out to be a major challenge for the cash strapped railways, the transporter is planning to rope in the private sector for electrification of tracks in an attempt to reduce its energy bill and dependence on imported fuel.

The state-owned transporter will soon launch a pilot project to garner private investment in the sector. As per the plan, the private player will be handed over tracks to electrify, operate and maintain on annuity basis. The private players will be compensated with fixed annual payments for the investments. “Many private players and PSUs have shown interest as the project is bankable,” Kul Bhushan, member (electrical), railway board, told TOI.

“It will be a win-win situation for railways and private players as the gap between cost of diesel and electricity is widening,” Kul Bhushan said, adding, “Railways will be able to compensate private players with funds saved from shifting from diesel to electric traction.” While there is huge delay in several rail projects, the transporter exceeded the target for electrification of 4,500 km track during the 11th fiveyear plan (2007-12) and electrified 4,556 km.


Agitators warned against climbing loco’s rooftop in TN

The Administration of the Tiruchirapalli and Salem division of the Southern Railway has warned agitators not to go near the electric traction as it would endanger their lives. A Southern railway press release yesterday said that in the recent rail-roko incidents, agitators were found atop locos with flags in large numbers. Railway traction distribution wire carries 25,000 Volts. So, it is dangerous to climb atop loco, and such agitators were hereby warned not to go near the electric traction.

Also disrupting rail traffic is a punishable offence under Railways Act 1989 Section 174. Offenders are liable for two years imprisonment or fine up to Rs 2,000 or both, it added. It also warned that voltage of the overhead lines of the electrified railway tracks is 25,000 volts and any person coming within the vicinity of 2 meters distance from the overhead traction, will suffer severe electric shock. Even the top of the electric locomotives are of 25,000 volts electric system and if anybody climbs on the top of the electric locomotive, he is likely to get electrocuted.