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Indian Railways Guntakal station becomes first to install ‘Ulta Chaata’ for rainwater harvesting!

Nikita Prasad
Indian Railways

Indian Railways takes a commendable step for preservation of water! In an innovative move, the South Central Railway (SCR) zone has installed ‘Ulta Chaata’ or ‘inverted umbrella’ canopies in the circulating area of the Guntakal railway station. According to a recent press release issued by the SCR zone, the step is part of greener Indian Railways initiative of the Railway Ministry,. The installed canopies are intended to utilize the space and harness solar, renewable energy apart from several other applications such as mobile and laptop charging, seating arrangements etc. The Guntakal station lies in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh and is a part of the Guntakal railway division of the SCR zone.

As many as six such ‘Ulta Chaatas’ which are canopies shaped like inverted umbrellas with solar panels fitted on top, have been installed at the Guntakal railway station. Some of the features and uses of the inverted umbrella canopies are as follows:

  • The canopy is also called ‘Model 1080’ due to its geometrical angles as well as internal structure. The simple design of umbrellas, which are used for protection from rain, has been taken as the base design of the structure.
  • The product has been manufactured and supplied by THINK PIE Sustainable Lab Private Limited to the SCR zone and according to the company, this particular product is the world’s very first integrated plug and play system combining clean water, shading as well as lighting.
  • At the Guntakala station, six inverted umbrella canopies have been installed at a cost of Rs 14 lakh approximately, each with a size of 5 m x 5 m with a weight of around 120 kgs.
  • They are square shaped having a central stainless tube comprising 40 watt efficient LED lamps. The canopies have been installed at the side of the exit road and along the walking path in the circulating area.
  • The entire structure stands on a single centre mass which is helpful in having different sizes according to the requirement. Since the canopy is a standalone structure with solar energy generation, electrical supply and cabling are not required for the same.
  • A 2,000-micron PVDF coated membrane top mesh is present in the structure, which reduces any larger organic matter and an internal filter system is also present, which reduces any suspended solids.

Uses and benefits of the canopy:

  • The annual rainwater collection of each canopy is said to be at a maximum of 60,000 litres.
  • The water can be diverted to the tank for properly conserving the water. The underground plumbing network of the canopy connects to the outlet which allows the groundwater recharge or storage in the existing tanks.
  • These canopies can withstand wind tolerance of 140 kmph and any excess energy can be plugged into the grid of the system.
  • The canopy includes solar modules, battery backup for the lighting and a mobile charger. A seating arrangement can also be made under the umbrella for the convenience of passengers at the station.