Minister of Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal launched the report “The Future of Rail” of International Energy Agency (IEA) at an event here today. Chairman, Railway Board, Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav, Executive Director, International Energy Agency (IEA), Dr. Fatih Birol, Director General, International Union of Railways, Shri Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Members of Railway Board and other Dignitaries from Ministry of Railways and IEA were present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Piyush Goyal said, today is the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi Ji and Railways played a very important role in the his life, and his journey from Mohan to Mahatma was captured in a tableau during the Republic Day Parade this year. He added that, what Mahatma Gandhi Ji said is still relevant for the entire world. One of his writings quotes: "The Day the Power of Love overrules the Love of Power, the World will know Peace" continues to guide us even today.
He said that this Government led by Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi is committed to providing a better future for the country's youth by combatting climate change and bringing down our emission levels. The huge investment Railways has achieved in the last 5 years has helped us improve safety, complete long-delayed projects and introduce modern & unprecedented technology in services.
Shri Goyal further said that the indigenously produced Vande Bharat Express is an engineering marvel that will change our approach to train manufacturing as well as revolutionise train travel in India. He also highlighted Indian Railway’s successful effort to convert diesel locomotives to electric locomotives as truly innovative and added that it will be a game-changer in the way forward as we move towards 100% electrification for the Indian Railways. He informed that 5 years ago, Railways had electrified about 600 km of tracks across the country. Last year alone, we electrified over 4,000 km, and in the coming year we aim to electrify over 6,000 Km. He reiterated that there is a rising demand for better quality, safer, more comfortable, efficient, reliable and cheap transport and added that no other form of transport can provide this other than railways.
In his introductory remarks, Chairman, Railway Board, Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav said that Railways can play an important role in the sustainable development of the world economy. He added that rail transport is superior to any other form of transport in terms of energy efficiency and being environment friendly. He highlighted the focus on capacity augmentation and infrastructural development by Indian Railways in recent years to make it an engine of growth for the nation.
“The Future of Rail” the first-of-a-kind report analyses the current and future importance of rail around the world through the perspective of its energy and environmental implications. The report reviews the impact of existing plans and regulations on the future of rail, and explores the key policies that could help to realise an enhanced future rail.
This first ever global report has a focus on India, elaborating on the unique social and economic role of rail in India, together with its great enduring potential, to show how India can extend and update its networks to harness rail at a scope and scale that is unparalleled.
The IEA is an inter-governmental organisation that works to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for its 30 member countries and 8 association countries. Its mission is guided by four main areas of focus: energy security, economic development, environmental awareness and engagement worldwide.
India and the International Energy Agency (IEA) have benefited from a long, on-going bilateral relationship and cooperation in a broad range of area including energy security, statistics, energy efficiency, market analysis for oil, gas, electricity, renewables, system integration and implementation agreements for enhanced technologies.
India has been the focus of many recent IEA analyses and reports for instance through the special focus chapter on the Indian Power sector of the Energy Technology Perspectives (ETP) publication and the World Energy Outlook (WEO). High level policy dialogues have been further intensified over the last few years including a statement of intent on data and research cooperation, and a memorandum of understanding on clean energy research and development tracking. IEA has also held workshops and training programmes in India on energy data training, energy efficiency, strategic petroleum reserves, and the integration of renewables into the grid.