Solar power will soon run Gurgaon railway station.
Minister of State for Railways Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary Thursday laid the foundation stone for 25 KW solar power plant here, being undertaken under RITES' CSR and Sustainability Projects.
In a first, the solar power plant will be set up on the platform's roof where the panels will be placed and solar electricity generated, an official said.
Appreciating the efforts of RITES, the minister said of 365 days, India gets full sun for almost 300 days but the vast resource of solar energy potential remains unutilised.
On the development of the railway station, he said Gurgaon is known for its IT hubs, multi-storeyed shining buildings and railways will spare no efforts in making sure the station matches the rest of the infrastructure.
Chaudhary said by utilising the platform roof, there is no issue of land acquisition and passengers can also get shelter from rain and sun while aesthetics of the station will improve.
The project, even if small, holds large potential and railways will pursue similar initiatives either under corporate social responsibilities (CSR) of its public sector undertakings or on railways' own initiative.
RITES chairman and managing director Rajeev Mehrotra said this is the first attempt to utilise a platform's roof for placing panels and generating solar electricity.
"If replicated on a larger scale, it could help in reducing the Indian Railways' carbon footprint and achieving the target of sourcing at least 10 percent of energy from renewable sources like solar power and biomass," he said.
This solar plant is being installed with the assistance of BHEL electronics division, Bangalore and is fully funded by RITES.
The project, costing nearly Rs.60 lakh, will be completed by the end of 2013.
The successful completion of the project will open up new possibilities for these kinds of projects for the railways and RITES.