The Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) will set up solar power plants on the railways’ vacant land, Union Minister for Railways and Coal Piyush Goyal said on Saturday.
Addressing the International seminar ‘India Mining – on the cusp of Transformation’ here, Goyal said railways is going to tie up with NLC to have them put up solar power generating equipment across the railways at their investment and the railways would be buying that power.
“Thousands of acres of the railways land has already been encroached, so wherever we have railway land, I want NLC to put up the solar plants so that I can save them from encroachment,” Goyal said.
He added that the agreement in this regard would be signed very soon.
The Minister said the second objective is to take NLC’s help in expanding railways platforms.
“We have existing platforms that need to be expanding on both sides because we are going in for longer rakes and platforms don’t handle such long rakes. NLC will help us expand the existing platforms, create a roof over the platform extension, and we will have a different rate of power for the investment they will be putting in to do that,” Goyal said.
He also said that while helping the Railways’ energy security, the NLC will also help the Railways in creating more infrastructure for passenger amenities.
“The third thing we have agreed is that whenever we need the land on which you (NLC) have put solar power plants; NLC will shift the equipment somewhere else. If it is during the payback period, NLC can shift it at the cost of the railways,” he added.
In order to tell the international attendees about transformed thinking in India, Goyal referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mantra “I will neither sleep, nor allow anybody else to sleep”.
“So acting on the mantra, I and NLC chairman Sarat Kumar Acharya finalised the modalities of the agreement for the benefit of the people of this country,” he said.
Talking about Mining, Goyal said that “even when we do mining, we create wealth as it transforms the economy of local areas”.
State-run NLC India Limited is engaged in mining of lignite and generation of power through lignite based thermal power plants.
The company has moved from an only lignite mining and power generation company to become an energy company.
The company currently has a total power generation capacity (including JVs) of 4301 MW.
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with World Mining Congress organised the seminar.