Guwahati: As a part of the Indian Railways’ plan to use non-conventional energy, the Northeast Frontier Railway has initiated steps for running the Guwahati Railway Station with solar power, while a feasibility study for using wind power in Haflong is also being initiated.
Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of the NF Railway, P.J.Sarma said that the Lumding Division of the NF Railway has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Container Corporation of India and Central Electronics Limited for installation of a 700-KW power grid station at the Guwahati Railway Station. This will be the first station under NF Railway to use solar power.
Sarma revealed that the total cost of installation of the power grid and maintenance for a period of five years would be around Rs 6.77 crore and the Container Corporation and the Central Electronics Limited would carry out the project under their corporate social responsibility and there would be no expenditure on the part of the Railways.
He said that the NF Railway, at present, does not have the required expertise for maintenance of such solar power stations, and that is why, the maintenance would be carried out by the Central Electronics Limited for a period of five years. After that, the power station would be handed over to the Railways. By that time, the Railways would be able to get the required expertise for its maintenance.
The CPRO said the project is likely to be completed by February next year and afterwards, the Guwahati Railway Station would be run mostly on solar power. He pointed out that it would reduce dependence on conventional power to a great extent and reduce the total expenditure of the Railways. If the project becomes successful in Guwahati, gradually other major railway stations of the region would be able to switch over to solar power in the years to come.
Meanwhile, the Railways has floated global tenders for feasibility study of harnessing wind power at Haflong station and other parts of the hill section. Sarma pointed out that the wind speed in Haflong is very strong compared to other parts of the State and that is why the decision to carry out the study for generating wind power has been taken.
If the NF Railway manages to gradually shift to non-conventional energy, the operational cost of the Railways would come down substantially, and hence the decision to reduce dependence on the conventional energy sources.
Sarma revealed that the Western Railway is the pioneer in the use of non-conventional energy sources and a few stations in that area are now being run on solar power.