60 railway stations to raise a toast to the sun for power

Sixty railway stations under the Thiruvananthapuram division are planning to utilise solar power to help reduce dependence on power supplied by the KSEB. Thiruvalla, in Pathanamthitta district, last week, became the first railway station in the state where solar panels were installed. According to railway officials, the plan is to set up 5 Kilowatt solar panels at all the identified stations.

“The division can only afford to set up these many kilo watts of power, as the initial installment for each station would be Rs 8 lakh. Hence, the project will only be imposed on small way side stations. Major stations like the Ernakulam Railway station, Thiruvananthapuram railway station etc will not come under this scheme,” said Divisional Railway Manager Rajesh Agarwal.

He added that the help of private agencies would also be sought for the implementation of the project. Another railway official, in charge of the project said that they will approach the state-owned Agency for Non-conventional Energy and Rural Technology ( ANERT) which is providing subsidies to all those organisations who wish to set up one kilowatt power solar panels. “The available scheme does not support 5 KW panels. However, we are planning to make a request for a subsidy to help our project,” the officials added.

Currently, a medium-scale station utilises 2000 units of power every two months. With the introduction of the 5 KW solar panels, the stations can generate 20 units per day. The power produced would be enough to run the functioning of the station master’s room, reservation counter rooms and platforms. However, the power received from the signalling systems will not be utilised for running the systems.