SE railway to use more solar power, axe unmanned crossings

Kolkata, Jan 19 (IANS) Stressing the importance of green energy, top officials of South Eastern Railway (SER) on Tuesday said they have identified over 50 locations across the zone where solar energy will be used for illumination.

Addressing an event here organised by the MCC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, SER general manager Ashish Kumar Goel also announced plans to eliminate over 600 unmanned level crossings in the next three years.

“Over 50 locations including stations, hospitals, running-rooms and offices have been identified where solar energy will be used for powering lighting, heating equipment and the like,” said Goel.

To be implemented on a PPP model, the SER has invited tenders where the private party will have the responsibility of design, engineering, procurement, installation, commissioning and generation from the solar photovoltaic system.

While tenders for installation at Adra, Chakradharpur and Kharagpur have been invited, officials said the process for the other locations would also be initiated soon.

“Currently, Rajkharsawan station (Jharkhand) to Purulia station (West Bengal) have solar powered illumination. With the emphasis growing on the use of green energy, SER is on the way where all its stations and installations will be solar powered,” said SER chief electrical engineer Harendra Rao.

Goel also announced the SER’s target of eliminating over 600 unmanned level crossings (UMLC) in the next three years.

“Each year, we will be eliminating at least 200 UMLCs. The elimination will be done through building subways and creating road diversions. Around Rs.90-100 crore has been earmarked annually for the purpose,” said Goel.

He said audio-visual alarms are being installed in the level crossings besides deploying railways personnel as ‘Gate Mitras’ on the UMLCs during day time and peak hours.

He also said Shalimar and Santragachi are being developed as model terminal stations at a cumulative budget of nearly Rs.400 crore, providing world class amenities and facilities.

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