Rail budget: Railways puts in plans to cut power bill

In an attempt to leverage its position as the largest consumer of power in the country, Indian Railways plans to reduce its electricity bills by nearly a third by seeking competitive bids from power producers, sourcing from electricity exchanges and reaching bilateral arrangements. The national transporter needs about 12 billion units of electricity a year, with consumption growing at an average 5% every year. Its power bill is estimated at Rs.11,000 crore for the next financial year. “Although a bulk consumer, Railways pays extremely high charges for traction power,” railways minister Suresh Prabhu said in his budget speech in Parliament on Thursday. “It is proposed to procure power through the bidding process at economical tariff from generating companies, power exchanges and bilateral arrangements. This initiative is likely to result in substantial savings of at least Rs.3,000 crore in next few years.”

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