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Chennai: No solar panels installed, railway platforms under-utilised

Chennai: No solar panels installed, railway platforms under-utilised


CHENNAI: With abundant space on the roofs of platform shelters and copious sunlight being available, the Southern Railway has been motionless towards using the overhead space to generate more solar power.

“Chennai Central, Chennai Egmore, Tiruvallur, Jolarpet and other railway stations in Chennai division of Southern Railway have lengthy platforms. If the zonal railway utilises the space available on rooftops of shelters by installing solar panels, a considerable amount of energy could be generated and money can be saved,” K. Baskar, Member, Divisional Railway Users’ Consultative Committee, said.

Baskar also added that Pune division of Central Railway has taken steps to instal solar panels on overhead sheds. “The move will ensure the upkeep of shelters that have been in derelict condition. A representation has been made to the railway officials during the recent DRUCC meeting,” he added.

Although the solar panels of various capacities have been installed in many establishments belonging to the Southern Railway, the rooftops of platform shelters can easily amount to hundreds of acres remaining unutilised.

Meanwhile, Southern Railway officials said that solar panels of 10 kWp capacity each had been installed at DRM offices of Chennai, Palghat and Thiruvananthapuram divisions. Moreover, solar panels on running room, booking offices, control office and a few level crossings gates had also been installed, the railway officials added.

According to a data, the total solar energy capacity of the Southern Railway is lingering at less than 1MWp (megawatt power). “The cost of installing solar panels of 10 kWp capacity is Rs 7.3 lakh. However, the panels would save `1.16 lakh a year on EB bill. After 6 or 7 years, we would get free of cost energy” the official said. 10 kWp grid-connected solar generation system on the rooftop of MMC building has enabled a saving of 14,600 units and `1.16 lakh a year, railway officials said.

Source: deccanchronicle
Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network


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