New Delhi: On Tuesday, Indian Railways has revealed the first non-AC coach of Rewari-Sitapur passenger train to be lit by solar panels. These solar panels are installed on the roof of the train and will be used to operate fan, lights and mobile charging point inside the coach.
As per our news sources, in order to make the first non-AC coach of Rewari-Sitapur passenger train equip with solar panels, the Indian Railways has spent about Rs 3.90 lakh and it will save approximately Rs 1.24 lakh per year in power cost ahead.
Coaches of Taj Express and Shan-e-Punjab Express are also said to be equipped with solar panels in near future, a senior Northern Railway official said.
Besides this, in the next five years, Indian Railways is also said to be coming up with a solar policy for procuring 1000 MW solar power.
As per the information provided by the Indian Railways, the solar panels equipped in the non Ac coach will generate about 17 units of power in a day which will be used to operate the lighting system in the coach. Indian Railways also said that, as of now, these solar panels will be installed in non-AC coaches only.
“Solar panels have also been provided on top of coaches of two narrow-gauge trains plying on Pathankot-Jogindernagar route in Kangra Valley section and Kalka-Shimla section on trial basis. On the evaluation of trial and cost-benefit analysis, further study of economic viability will be undertaken,” said a senior Northern Railway official.
Railways plan to harness solar energy is not only limited to the rooftops of the coaches as it is making efforts by utilising roof-top space of railway stations and other railway buildings through the PPP mode in order to take the maximum benefits from the technology.
“Railways has a plan to generate 1000 MW solar power in the next five years. Steps are being taken to install solar plants at railway building rooftops and level crossings across the country, Railway Board Member Navin Tandon said.
In order to execute its plan, Indian Railways has initiated the installation of 8.8 MW capacity solar power plants not only at the railway stations but also in some of the railway office buildings and level crossing gates throughout the country. Indian Railways is executing the plan under railway funding.
Regarding the same, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has also said that Sustainable Development should be promoted at the maximum possible level as it will reduce dependence on fossil fuels.