New Delhi, Oct 11: Railways, the country's largest energy consumer plan to save Rs 3000 crore of its energy bill every year by procuring electricity directly from power generators of its choice.
Railways is targeting a savings of Rs 3,000 crore per year through the open access of electricity, Railway Board Chairman A K Mital said at the Economic Editors' conference here.
We have got clearances from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand which have given their consent to our proposal of procuring power directly from generators, he said.
Mital further said railways in talks with other states to have their clearances to draw power from these states' transmission lines.
Rajasthan and Chattisgarh have given an in principal consent and we are in talks with other states, Mital said.
Railways is the largest energy consumer in the country with about 2.8 billion litres of diesel and 17.5 billion units of electricity a year. While the diesel cost is Rs 18,000 crore a year, the power bill is around Rs 12,300 crore.
After the salary and pension, the energy bill is the highest expenditure in railways, Mital said.
The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission has authorised the Railways to undertake transmission and distribution of electricity as a deemed licensee under the Electricity Act.
Railways will also save on fuel bill as it has speeded up the route electrification work.
Asked about its direct import of crude oil plan, he said we are in discussion with concerned authorities for availing the permission for direct import.
On rail tariff authority, Mital said it is called Rail Development Authority and and we are in the process of setting up the authority either through legislative route or by an executive order.
He said besides fixing tariff, it will also examine the scope of PPP projects in rail sector.
About the timeline, he said we are in consultation stage and a draft proposal is in the circulation seeking suggestions. The authority will be either set up by an executive order or through a legislative bill.