Indian Railways can help save Rs 1.28 lakh crore annually in diesel costs with its freight & cargo hauling: Ashwini Vaishnaw – Times of India

Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has said that India can potentially save Rs 1.28 lakh crore annually in diesel costs by 2031 if it successfully transports an additional 1500 million tonnes of cargo through trains. Speaking at the 68th National Railways Awards, Vaishnaw stated that India’s economic growth is expected to result in an additional 3000 million tonnes of cargo being moved within the country by 2031.
According to the minister, Indian Railways is on track to capture half of this incremental cargo growth, resulting in a reduction of 16,000 crore litres of diesel consumption each year. This would translate to an annual savings of Rs 1.28 lakh crore for India, he was quoted as saying by ET.

Despite achieving a record high of 1512 million tonnes of cargo transported during the fiscal year 2022-23, representing an increase from 1418 million tonnes in the previous year, Indian Railways currently accounts for less than 30% of India’s total cargo movement. The majority of cargo is still transported by road, as per official estimates.

Vaishnaw highlighted the progress being made in railway infrastructure development, including the construction of new tracks and the addition of multiple lines to existing ones. He also mentioned the introduction of over 200 new rakes in the past two years, as well as the induction of technologically advanced trains such as the Vande Bharat and Amrit Bharat.

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While Vande Bharat is a semi-high speed AC service, Amrit Bharat is a push-pull technology non-AC train with advanced features that is expected to be introduced in the coming days.
During the event, Vaishnaw recognized the outstanding services of 100 Railway employees from various Zonal Railways, Production Units, and Railway public sector undertakings (PSUs).

Regarding India’s economic growth, the minister predicted that the country would rise to one of the top three global economies by 2027, up from its current ranking of fifth.
Vaishnaw also emphasized the importance of shedding any remnants of a colonial mindset among senior Railway officers, which he believes still influences working methods and practices. He called for a ruthless eradication of these traces of colonial thinking to ensure a modern and efficient railway system.

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