Pitching for green power, the Railways have set up 1 megawatt solar power plant at Katra station, a move that can save up to Rs 1 crore annually on energy bills and also significant reduction of carbon dioxide at rail premises. In keeping with the motto of ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ for sustainable development and as a significant way to thwart climate change impact, we have been undertaking several green initiatives including the installation of the 1 megawatt solar power plant at Katra station, said a senior Northern Railway official. The solar project was commissioned in March this year and presently, out of 5,000 units produced daily by the plant, only 1,700 to 1,800 units are utilized by Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra Railway Station, whereas 3,200 to 3,300 units are exported to Power Development Department of Jammu and Kashmir government, he said.
The 1 MW solar power plant consists of 300 KW installed on platform 2/3, 550 KW on platform 1, 100 KW on rooftop of the station building and 50 KW on pathway shelter. The accrued benefit envisaged was reduction of 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide per annum and a saving of Rs 1 crore per annum on energy bills to the Railways, the official said. In keeping with its objective to resort to more eco-friendly measures, Northern Railway has also installed a 25 kb power Solar Energy Panel at Gurgaon station as well as installation of solar power panels at Bahadurgarh railway station, Diwana (near Panipat) and at Divisional Control Building in DRM office at New Delhi.
“As the use of solar power is a reliable source of energy, it has been decided to undertake a steady pursuit meeting energy needs through a planned green agenda. Now solar panels will be installed at more stations,” said the official. While inaugurating the Udhampur-Katra railway line of Kashmir rail link project on July 4, 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had directed to provide solar power plant at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra Railway Station as a green energy initiative to be a part of national solar mission. The use of solar power is also envisaged to cut diesel and electricity consumption on trains while reducing load requirements at station premises and railway buildings.