The Union Cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday gave its approval for signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Department for International Development (Government of United Kingdom) for enabling energy self-sufficiency for Indian Railways. The MoU between the Ministry of Railways and the UK’s Department for International Development underlines various activities that would be undertaken by the two bodies for energy planning including wind, solar and other alternative energy-based projects.
“Each participant will, subject to the laws, rules, regulations and national policies from time to time in force governing the subject matter in their respective countries, endeavour to take necessary steps to enable energy efficiency and energy self-sufficiency for Indian Railways,” an official release said.
According to the Ministry, the countries will move towards energy planning for the Indian Railways by taking up projects in the solar and wind energy sector, adopting energy efficiency practices, enabling fuel efficiency, electric vehicle charging infrastructure deployment, battery-operated shunting locomotives. Capacity development like training programs, industrial visits, field visits, etc. or any other form co-operation may be approved in writing by the participants, according to the release.
“The Participants will coordinate the activities, as appropriate, under this MoU. Nothing in this MoU will be construed to prejudice existing or future arrangements for cooperation between the participants”, the release added.
Recently the PM Modi-led Cabinet approved the transformational organisational restructuring of the Indian Railways and this was announced by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal in a press release on Tuesday, December 24. According to the reforms introduced, the Board will now have some independent members and the Chairman Railway Board (CRB) will head the re-organisation of Railway Board on functional lines. "This organisation of the department runs deep down to the grass-root level of the Railways," the government says in a release. The release read that, "Railways has an ambitious program to modernise and provide the highest standards of safety, speed, and services to the passengers with a proposed investment of Rs. 50 lakh crore over the next 12 years.”