6 months on, solar panels at Chandigarh railway station still not functional
To reduce dependency on conventional sources of energy, Northern Railway’s Ambala Division had installed solar panels at Chandigarh railway station. However, six months on, the panels are still not functional.
According to a source in the railways, “Solar panels of 390 kW were to be installed all over the station, with about 190 kW for station and the rest for other buildings such as sick line, workshop, etc. As much as 90% of the installation was completed by July, but till now, the solar panels have not made functional.”
He also said that once they are functional, they will reduce the total electricity bill of Chandigarh railway station by about 50%. And if the panels generate surplus electricity, they would sell it to the UT electricity department, he said.
Currently, the station consumes about 90,000 units a month.
Safety audit committee
Recently, Seema Kumar, principal safety officer of Delhi’s safety audit committee also pointed out the fact that the solar panels were still not functional, while solar panels were not installed for the locomotive pilot rest rooms. She also pointed out that no measures had been undertaken for roof top water harvesting.
Station director, Harideep Kumar, said that “he had no knowledge of the project. “Kindly talk to the person who is handling the project,” he said.
When the HT correspondent contacted the project manager in Chandigarh, he refused to comment saying he was not authorised to talk to the media.
Ankur Jain, senior divisional electrical engineer, Ambala division, said, “We have installed the grid system here, that is when solar panels produce more electricity, that surplus energy is sent to the grid in exchange for credits.”
When asked about the delay in making the panels functional, he said, “For doing so, the Chandigarh electricity board has to install a net meter at the station. When they will install the meter, the panels will begin working.”
When HT contacted CD Sangwan, superintending engineer in UT’s electricity department, he said, “ We received the inspection file for solar panels from the railway station only on March 5. In the coming week we will inspect the panels after which we will install the net meter.”
When this HT correspondent called up Jain again to know the cause of delay of sending the inspection file, he refused to take the call.
The project under the rail ministry aims at reducing electricity bills and promoting and tapping green energy. The Ambala Division is aiming at achieving a target of 4.9 MW in all 67 stations under it. A Delhi company, Azure Power, is installing the roof top panels in all stations under the division.