Guwahati, May 10, 2019
Dressed in the trademark crimson uniform, Dilip Bawal, who works as a coolie (porter) at the Guwahati Railway Station, is heard discussing politics, elections, price hike, weather, earthquake…all that concerns the aam janta under the sun and fan!Advertisement
However, more than anything else, it is the two giant fans that amuse Bawal, who hails from Uttar Pradesh, the most. Like many travellers who wait for their trains at the Guwahati Railway Station, Bawal too tilts his head skywards time and again to catch a glimpse of the giant fans.
The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has installed two high volume low speed (HVLS) fans with six aluminium blades to improve ventilation and airflow. These giant fans not only help in beating the heat but also reduces electricity consumption as they run on solar power duirng the daytime.
“These fans were installed last year. The old fans have been replaced by these two giant fans. These fans are extremely unique…I have never seen anything like this. Can you believe these two fans cover the entire platform? Even if you stand outside the station, you can feel the breeze. They are so huge…I wonder who invested such fans,” said Bawal while speaking to TIME8.
NFR’s Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO), P J Sharma informed each fan costs Rs 5,50,000. The hanging weight of a fan is 150 kg and the operation weight is 120 kg. The length of each blade is approximately 10 feet (HVLS fan diameter is 20 feet) and the breadth of each blade is 15cm-18 cm (isosceles trapezoid shape). The fan consumes 1.2 KW of electricity.
“An HSLV fan can distribute air upto 15,000 sq.ft (corner to corner). A variable speed controller is available to set and control airflow. Reverse operation options are also available,” said Sharma told TIME8. The fans were bought and installed by BLB International Guwahati. The fans are cleaned by the Indian Railway staff, CPRO informed.
Bawal’s friend, Deepak Kumar said, “These fans don’t make any sound. As summer is here, these fans will be a huge relief for the passengers and coolies. The station has changed over the last few years. These fans are the star attraction I must say.”
Pointing towards a couple posing for photographs beneath one of the fans, Kumar added, “Every day, I see people clicking photographs of these fans from their smartphones. Many people came to see just these fans when they were newly installed. Such fans should be installed in all the platforms. It will be a huge relief for all.”
To give a major facelift to the Guwahati Railway Station, the NFR has undertaken several projects to improve the circulating area, waiting rooms, platforms, and the booking and enquiry offices and also to improve the hygiene and cleanliness.
Sharma informed that two new escalators, two lifts and seven water dispensers have been newly installed at the station. He further said that the number of escalators and lifts will be increased in the coming days. The NF Railway officials had earlier informed that 29 more escalators and 36 more lifts are coming up within the next year.
New retiring rooms will also be constructed. The LED lighting in the circulating area will be improved, steel benches will also be increased at the Guwahati Railway Station.
On an average, 35-40 long-distance trains pass through the Guwahati Railway Station – the biggest railway station in the Northeast. The station receives a footfall of over 45,000 passengers every day.
The Guwahati station is the first in Northeast to run completely on solar power. The 700 KWp grid interactive solar power plant has been set up over the roof of the Guwahati Railway Station.
The Guwahati Railway Station became the first ever railway station in Indian Railways to get ISO certification from National Green Tribunal (NGT) for “providing passenger amenities in a clean and green environment.”
The NGT had previously directed the railways to adopt strict measures to manage waste in stations across the country, following which the Northeast Frontier (NF) Railway had given consultancy contract for the environmental management system to M/s Caliber Management Solutions in February this year.