The South Central Railway (SCR) has been known to take up several innovative initiatives to speed up infrastructure work and provide passenger amenities. Now, the officials have decided to showcase their skills in harnessing solar energy and harvesting rainwater with the installation of inverted umbrellas or ‘Ulta Chaata’ canopies.
These inverted ‘umbrellas’ have been installed at the Guntakal station’s main circulating area as part of a pilot project. The canopy is to utilise the sustainable space and harness solar energy and harvest rainwater apart from other uses such as mobile-laptop charging and seating space.
The canopy called ‘Model 1080’ because of its geometrical angles of internal structure has a simple design of an umbrella. It is developed further by adding features to harvest water and harness solar energy. The product is manufactured and supplied by Think-Pie Sustainable Lab Pvt. Ltd and is available in different sizes, said senior railway officials.
The firm claims it to be among the first such integrated plug-and-play system combining shading, clean water and intelligent lighting with a great design. About six such inverted umbrellas have been installed at the Guntakal railway station at an estimated cost of around ₹14 lakh.
Each of the inverted umbrella weighs 120 kg. They are square-shaped with central stainless tube, consisting of 40W-efficient LED lamps. These canopies are provided with mono-crystalline flexible light-weight panel, lithium ion battery with charge controller, automated sensor controls. The canopies have been installed by the side of the exit road and along the walking path at the circulating area, said Chief Public Relations Officer Ch. Rakesh.