In the next five years, India hopes to set up 1GW of solar power plants on land and rooftops owned by the railways, said rail minister Suresh Prabhu.

According to Prabhu: “To reduce dependence on fossil fuels, it is intended to expand sourcing of solar power as part of the Solar Mission of Railways. Work is in full swing at the solar power plant at Katra station and is slated for completion in March 2015.”

Prabhu, who presented his budget for the railways to parliament on Thursday, aims have the 1GW of solar power plants installed by developers at their own cost, but with subsidies/viability gap funding from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

Prabhu hopes that this is a step in a more sustainable direction for the railways in India.